RURAL dwellers now have a chance of improving their livelihoods and living standard with the opportunity to work in New Zealand and Australia through the seasonal workers scheme.
Minister for Labour Jone Usamate on Monday announced the seasonal workers program — which had been closed to Fiji by New Zealand and Australia — had been opened once again and Fijians should register with the Foreign Employment Services (FORES) in order to be part of the program.
Mr Usamate said he had just returned from New Zealand with a team from his office after discussions with the New Zealand Government and Fiji had a good reputation in sending trustworthy and hardworking employees.
"I have just returned from New Zealand where I have had discussions with members of the New Zealand Government and potential employers in New Zealand," he said.
"Currently, New Zealand has recognised seasonal employment. We went to New Zealand as the result of the New Zealand Government's invitation with the idea that Fiji will be joining that program again either by the end of this year after the elections or early next year.
"Currently, it is open to a lot of other countries with the exception of Fiji, so the good news is that the program will be available to our people in Fiji, we intend to make sure that it is provided to people out in the rural areas so that they can have access to services that will improve their lives."
He said there had also been a notification that the same program had been made available in Australia.