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A government website is advertising excavation work for jobseekers... in Iraq

The position in the war-torn Middle East country is one of dozens advertised on the State training and employment agency’s website that are based outside of Ireland.

Image: Horizontal image of an excavator via Shutterstock

THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL PROTECTION is advertising a job carrying out excavation work in Iraq on its website.

The position is one of over 90 that are advertised on the former FÁS jobs website, which is now managed by the Department of Social Protection, for employment based outside of Ireland and indeed Europe.

Other advertisements seek plumbers, nurses, technicians, jewellers and other professionals to work in countries including Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and Jamaica.

The job for a ’360 Excavator Machine Driver’ in Iraq was posted to the website last week and advertises the position to someone who has “many years experience as a machine driver”.

A 360 excavator is a large excavation machine generally found on construction sites.

The job description says that the successful candidate will be expected to drive machines ranging from 15 to 30 tonne moving topsoil, general earthworks and working on embankments.

The successful candidate will also be expected to move to Iraq, a country which has been torn apart by violence and civil war in recent years following the US-led invasion in March 2003 which deposed former dictator Saddam Hussein.

A spokesperson for Longford-based recruitment agency, Connect, said they had not come across such a position before but said it had been contacted by a large Irish company working in Iraq seeking to fill the position.

The job will pay €35,000 annually and will be on a permanent contract.

A number of jobs based in Europe are also advertised on the jobseeker website including positions in Sweden, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Malta.

Earlier this year, Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty accused the government of actively encouraging emigration by offering an unemployed man in his 60s a job in Malta as a bus driver for €250 per week.

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The Department of Social Protection said at the time that the offer was made as a result of the European Employment Service (EURES) initiative “that has been in existence for a long number of years” and is “extremely popular with jobseekers throughout Europe”.

It pointed out that the role was offered on a voluntary basis and there was no punishment or loss of benefits for declining the offer.

The Department was not able to respond to questions from yesterday regarding advertisements for jobs based outside of Europe.

Amendment: This article has been amended to reflect that the website in question is managed by the Department of Social Protection and is no longer affiliated to FÁS, the State Training and Employment Agency, which is currently in the process of being wound down.

Read: 217 people have worked JobBridge internships in government departments

Read: Doherty says FÁS offer of job in Malta is ‘actively encouraging emigration’

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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