Last week, Canada and Ireland signed a bill which extended their youth mobility agreement.
The agreement, known as International Experience Canada within Canada itself, allows young Irish people between 18 and 35 to work and travel in Canada for up to two years and for young Canadians of the same age to do the same in Ireland. The programme is aimed at expanding young people’s knowledge and understanding of each others society and culture. This year, over 10,000 youths will be able to take part in the programme – a significant increase from the 6,000 places available the year before.
This year, two employer related variations of the programme have been added – the Young Professionals Category and the International Co-op category. The former allows young people with previous training or experience in their chosen career path to develop their careers with up to 24 months work experience in either country. The latter programme allows full time students to complete and internship or training in either country as a part of their curriculum. Out of the 10,000 plus places that have been allocated for the programme this year, 7,700 have been allocated to the regular working holiday programme, with 2,500 for the Young Professionals Programme and 500 for the International Co-op Category.
Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister, Chris Alexander, reiterated the importance both the Irish and Canadian government. ‘This expanded agreement will strengthen the ties between out two countries, provide young Irish and Canadians the opportunity to live abroad, and foster life-long relationships that may translate into extended economic opportunity’
Applications for the Young Professional and International Co-op categories open today. Applications for the Working Holiday Visa programme open on March 13th.