System to vet people for job

THE Ministry of Employment has introduced a new screening system at village and community levels that includes medical examinations and physical fitness tests for workers selected for regional seasonal employer scheme.

Minister for Employment Jone Usamate said this was done to ensure the right people were selected for employment in New Zealand and Australia with the ministry’s pre-departure orientation program.

“Our focus is to do all we can to ensure that the right people go, that they fully understand the conditions in which they will be working so that there are no false expectations and that we continue to iron out issues that have led to problems in the past,” Mr Usamate said.

Under the recognised regional seasonal employer scheme, the NZ Government had increased the quota for the Pacific from 10,500 to 11,100 this year.

Mr Usamate said when more places were made available by the NZ Government for seasonal work, it provided more opportunities for workers from the Pacific to participate in the program which also included people from Fiji.

“We look forward to any increase in the quota for seasonal work in New Zealand. We do take note that there is no quota for seasonal work in Australia,” he said.

“During 2017, we have had in excess of 200 workers each in both Australia and NZ. We currently have more than 1200 workers in our tikina and work ready pools who have met the requirements for seasonal work and are ready for work opportunities should they be forthcoming.”

He added the good reputation of Fijian workers would lead to more doors opening up for them.

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