A MEMORANDUM of Understanding signed by Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) leaders on a Skills Movement Scheme (SMS) will allow MSG countries to better address job shortages.
These job shortages will be met through the movement of skilled MSG nationals between MSG countries. Under the scheme, each MSG country will have a total quota of 400 persons each totaling 1600 people for the scheme.
MSG secretariat director general Peter Forau said the signing marked the successful conclusion of work that leaders had envisioned in 2005.
In a statement from the MSG secretariat, it said the issue of labour mobility had been a long standing one since the decision by MSG officials in 2005 to explore a scheme for movement of MSG professionals.
"The key features of the SMS are that it is, a reciprocal scheme that allows all MSG members to participate and it is based on a standard employment contract that ensures equal treatment for MSG nationals moving under the scheme," said the secretariat.
Other key features of the scheme are that it is based on job offers and is subject to educational qualifications set by members.
It also calls for further work to ensure that further work on mutual recognition of qualifications among members be undertaken.
The secretariat said the MOU signed on Friday would commence in six months to allow for the necessary procedures to be put in place at the national level. "In the next three months our trade in services subcommittee will be meeting to prepare the groundwork for implementation," said the secretariat.