NEWS

More Fijians To Join 3000 Plus Seasonal Workers In Australia

More than 3000 Fijians are working in Australia under the Pacific Labour Scheme after the Australian Government opened its doors for seasonal workers in 2015, says Minister of Employment and Industrial Relations Parveen Bala.
28 May 2022 16:17
More Fijians To Join 3000 Plus Seasonal Workers In Australia
Minister forEmployment Praveen Bala with visiting Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Senator Penny Wong in Suva on May 27, 2022. Photo: Ronald Kumar

More than 3000 Fijians are working in Australia under the Pacific Labour Scheme after the Australian Government opened its doors for seasonal workers in 2015, says Minister of Employment and Industrial Relations Parveen Bala.

Mr Bala joined the new Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Penny Wong who met up with many applicants who were completing their seasonal workers’ registration process on Friday.

Senator Wong revealed that the Australian Government would open more opportunities for Fijian workers soon, including allowing family members to travel abroad and live with their loved ones in Australia.

“We see Fiji as a family in Australia and we thank you for your friendship and partnership,” she said.

Fiji is the minister’s first bilateral country to visit since she took office six days ago.

“I hope this demonstrates to you how important our partnership is. We understand how important access to our labour market is for Fijians and for the region.

“We want to strengthen that access; we want to give people more opportunities and we want to make sure people are treated well when they are in Australia.”

The post-COVID-19 pandemic has seen a spike in people interested in the programme.

Between 2015 and 2019, Fiji was only able to send about 800 seasonal workers abroad, but since January this year, the number was well over 3000.

Minister of Employment and Industrial Relations Parveen Bala said Fiji was empowered by the visit of the minister given that she had been in office for only a few days.

He revealed there were many applicants from across the country who were still waiting for spots in the programme.

“It is my humble request that the numbers for Fijians increase so that they can go and work in Australia,” he said.

The minister has faith that Senator Wong will strengthen Fiji’s Vuvale partnership.



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