Fionnuala Darby


According to the preliminary report from the central statistics office concerning the Census 20021 net immigration continues to rise. Net immigration (the balance between inward and outward migration) is estimated to have reached 28,800 in the year to April 2002. The number of immigrants is estimated to have increased to 47,500 in the year to April 2002. The main features of these figures are:  Nearly half of all immigrants originated from outside the EU and USA.  50% of the immigrants were aged 25-44 years.  Returning Irish immigrants continue to be the largest immigrant group, though this share has been declining steadily from its 1999 level of 55 per cent.  35% are nationals of countries other than the EU and USA. This compares with over 26% in the previous year.  UK nationals represent 11% of immigrants compared with 13% for the rest of the EU.  All counties benefited from the combined effect of inward and internal migration flows during 1996-2002. The greatest gains were recorded in Meath, Kildare, Westmeath, Wexford and Laois. Immigrant workers, the traveling community, single parent households, older workers, women in the workplace, workers of colour, workers with limited educational experience, persons with disabilities and dual career families all represent in real terms how diverse the Irish workplace has become. Workplace diversity is a multifaceted issue as outlined above. It is a hope and aspiration that most people hold the belief that every human being is of equal worth, entitled to the same privileges and opportunities, without regard to race, gender, disability or age. This fundamental belief has led to changes in management practices primarily relating to the recruitment, training and retention of employees who reflect the changing face of the Irish workforce.



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