NATION

More Fijians For Aust Seasonal Work

Minister for Employment, Industrial Relations and Productivity, Semi Koroilavesau yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the renewal of the Australian seasonal workers scheme with the Australian High Commissioner
17 Feb 2016 07:28
More Fijians For  Aust Seasonal Work
From left- Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, Margaret Twomey and Minister for Employment, Industrial Relations and Productivity, Semi Koroilavesau after the singning of the MOU yesterday.

Minister for Employment, Industrial Relations and Productivity, Semi Koroilavesau yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the renewal of the Australian seasonal workers scheme with the Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, Margaret Twomey.

Mr Koroilavesau said they hoped to send about  1000 Fijians to Australia this year.

“There is no limit to the number of people we can send to Australia and they have broadened the spectrum of employment that our Fijian seasonal workers can do in Australia,” he said.

Mr Koroilavesau said the  Seasonal Workers Programme (SWP) had been a bonus to Fiji and had a lot of impacts on Fijians, especially those in rural areas.

“We now have to be careful on how we send our people because we don’t want to send all our people and there will be source of labour for our own industry and business here in Fiji,” Mr Koroilavesau said.

There are 226 Fijians working under the scheme in Australia.

 

US seasonal work

The Fijian Government is in talks with the United States government on establishing partnership for sending Fijian seasonal workers to work on farms in California.

This is part of the seasonal workers scheme.

Mr Koroilavesau said he had discussed this with the US Ambassador to Fiji, Judith Cefkin.

“Ambassador Cefkin has initially agreed that we contact our own officials here at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She will have a discussion in New York next month with our foreign affairs officials there,” Mr Koroilavesau said.

Fijian seasonal workers are working on farms in Australia and New Zealand as part of the scheme.

“It’s basically based on the ability to do physical work. We can distribute that type of work to rural and isolated areas because they don’t have to come and learn the skills that are required for the construction industry and other industrial work. It’s very beneficial to the rural people,” Mr Koroilavesau said.



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