Fiji Time: 6:17 PM on Tuesday 23 January

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Caregiving potential

Repeka Nasiko
Saturday, January 13, 2018

CARE giving could be the next form of employment to come under Government's overseas workers program.

Speaking at a public consultation for Fiji's first draft National Employment Policy, Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Jone Usamate said caregivers were in demand in a few countries.

"We will work on that, in fact, in three weeks' time, we will be going to Australia where we will be meeting with those under the seasonal workers program," he said.

"But we know that this is an area that has a lot of potential.

"We know that a lot of our people are doing it illegally, but we want them to do it the right way.

"We know a lot of our people are doing (caregiving) in the United States and there is a big demand for it in countries like Japan, where they have a fairly old population.

"We are looking at how best we can take advantage of that."

He said the ministry also hoped to extend its seasonal workers program to other sectors.

He said the current seasonal workers program focused only on the agriculture sector.

"Interestingly, we have people who are getting employed overseas just because they can speak English.

"We have the Freebird Institute which is sending three or four people to go and work at Narita Airport just because they can speak English.

"We will continue to explore these options."

He explained while Government continued to venture into other sectors for overseas employment opportunities, the ministry was also mindful of the productivity of the local economy.

"At the same time, we don't want to do it to the extent where our local labour market suffers.

"Our local labour market pays taxes and taxes funds everything that Government does."

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