PM Hou welcomes Australia’s labour scheme

PM Hou signs the guest book at the Australian War Memorial.

HONIARA, (SOLOMON STAR) – Solomon Islands Prime Minister Rick Hou has welcomed Australia’s commitment to expand the Pacific labour mobility scheme.

Hou highlighted this during his state visit in Australia last week.

The Prime Minister said Solomon Islands is looking to take a more strategic and long-term approach on labour mobility.

“I have been discussing the concept of developing a strategic partnership framework to enhance labour mobility opportunities between Solomon Islands and Australia within the overarching framework of the Australia – Pacific Labour Mobility Initiative,” he said.

He stated that such a framework is expected to involve establishing a database of ‘worker employment opportunities’ in farms and other employments particularly in rural Australia.

It is understood about 18,000 young Solomon Islanders join the labour market every year.

He said most of the young people are graduates from rural training centres and the nursing school at the Solomon Islands national University.

Ho added it is an opportunity for them to participate in labour mobility schemes through the seasonal workers programme, and similar programmes for the semi-skilled and skilled workers from Solomon Islands.

“The farm owners which I had the privilege to visit during my recent trip have acknowledged the productivity and the professionalism of Solomon Island workers.

“Australia has the need; and we have the required pool of workers,” he said.

The prime minister said what the Government needs to do now is to agree on a long term strategic approach to link the increasing labour demand to labour supply,” the Prime Minister stated.

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