Under the European Employment Service, EURES, the Department of Social Protection is obliged to inform jobseekers in Ireland of job opportunities in the wider European labour market which may be of interest to them. From time to time the Department assists non-EU/EEA countries with filling vacancies (normally Canada, Australia and the USA) if requested by the Government or Public Employment Service of that country. The rationale for providing such assistance is threefold. First we work with these authorities on a reciprocal basis which is important not just in the area of employment services (we have used their services on occasion in the past for recruitment purposes) but also in maintaining and building links that are useful in foreign trade and foreign direct investment. Second the work opportunities available in those countries may be of interest to Irish jobseekers and we have a responsibility to jobseekers to make them aware of such opportunities particularly where the opportunities are also being offered to jobseekers in other jurisdictions such as Northern Ireland and Great Britain. Third, to the extent that any Irish jobseeker is considering working overseas, the involvement of State/national Governments and public employment services in those countries, including the supports they provide, offers some reassurance to the jobseeker as to the nature of the employment on offer.
Finally it is important to note that any overseas employment opportunities brought to the attention of jobseekers by the Department are offered on a voluntary basis; it is entirely a matter for the jobseeker as to whether or not they wish to express an interest in, apply for or take up an offer of any such employment. The social welfare entitlement of a jobseeker who does not wish to avail of any such overseas opportunities will not be affected. This position is made clear in the communication issued to jobseekers.