Fiji participates in regional employment meet

Regional participants of the four-day Pacific Labour Mobility Annual Meeting (PLMAM) in Honiara earlier this week. Picture: Lisa Williams/Pacific Media Network

FIJI’S Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations participated in a four-day Pacific Labour Mobility Annual Meeting (PLMAM) in Honiara earlier this week.

According to a Government media statement, the ministry’s deputy secretary for employment Vilimone Baledrokadroka led the delegation to the PLMAM which was held from the October 9 to 12 with representatives from the Fiji High Commission in NZ and Australia.

The purpose of the meeting was to dialogue on the Pacific labour mobility that surrounded the current New Zealand Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) and the Australian Seasonal Workers Programme (SWP) seasonal work schemes.

This is the second PLMAM with the first to be hosted by the Solomon Islands with assistance from both NZ and Australia.

Prime Minister for Solomon Islands Rick Houenipwela while welcoming the delegates, stressed the importance of labour mobility to all the Pacific States and the need for both Australia and New Zealand to open up more work opportunities for the Pacific States.

He added that many Pacific Island States have high youth population and they rely a lot on the work opportunities in Australia and New Zealand to provide work opportunities for Pacific Islanders.  He also looked forward to more concrete and tangible outcome of the PLMAM.

Both Australia and New Zealand also introduced the new opportunities available under the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) that commenced from July, 2018.

Under the PLS Australia has opened a 12-36 months’ work contract to the small island states namely Nauru, Tuvalu and Kiribati. This new work opportunity is now opened in other industries for those Pacific States that have signed the Pacer Plus.  Australia is offering some 2,000 work opportunities under the PLS in the current financial year.

Under the NZ RSE, new opportunities have been provided under the Trade pilot to both Samoa and Tonga with Solomon Islands to be the new inclusion. Likewise new opportunities have been provided outside the Horticulture sector.

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