NATION

First 172 Fijian Seasonal Workers For Aust

This is the first lot leaving after international borders closed since the COVID-19 pandemic in the first quarter this year.
20 Nov 2020 10:41
First 172 Fijian Seasonal Workers For Aust
Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations and Youth and Sports Parveen Bala, Australian Deputy High Commissioner Anna Dorney and officials with Fijians who will be leaving for Australia under the Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

The first batch of 172 Fijians will next week leave for Australia under the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) and Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS).

This is the first lot leaving after international borders closed since the COVID-19 pandemic in the first quarter this year.

Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations and Youth and Sports Parveen Bala acknowledged the Australian Government and its continued support.

Adi Wini Naikelekele, Mereoni Ratumaiyale, Anna Qauqau and Lusiana Ratu, participated in a three-day pre-departure orientation training.

Travelling from Yalobi Village in Yasawa, the four women said they were blessed to be part of the group.

Lusiana Ratu, 40, said the opportunity will help her support her children’s education and family needs.

“My husband is the only breadwinner and I have six children who are still in school, Ms Ratu said.

“When the pandemic happened, it caused a lot of delays and we faced a lot of challenges, but now that I am here, it’s made things a lot easier.”

 

Treasure the opportunity

Mr Bala encouraged the workers to treasure the opportunity and not misuse it.

“You play an important role for the engagement of other potential Fijian workers – you must do your best, be dedicated, remain committed and focus on your goals,” he said.

“Your role is to open doors for your family members and other members of the community.”

Australian Deputy High Commissioner Anna Dorney said: “Fijian workers are highly valued by Australian employers.

“As you know, the agricultural sector in Australia is facing unprecedented pressure on labour supply as a result of COVID-19.

“These new arrangements will help ensure that Australian States and Territories can address labour market shortages affecting Australian farmers and other regional businesses,” she said.

The group will leave next week Wednesday on a chartered plane by the Austalian Government.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedbackadi.sovasiga@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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