Papua New Guinea
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Lower participation of PNG in the labour mobility scheme

Papua New Guinea has the lowest participation of people engaged in the Labour Mobility Schemes in Australia and New Zealand compared to other smaller Pacific Island Countries.

PNG joined the Labour Mobility Scheme in 2010 and is still struggle to significantly increased its market share in the region.

This is according to a research report by Papua New Guinean academia and a PhD candidate at the Australian National University (ANU), Natasha

Moka. “PNG has an estimated population of 10 million yet we have the less number of people we sending to work in Australia and New Zealand under the PALM and RSE program.

Why has PNG struggle to significantly increased its market share? The schemes are being dominated by the three countries which is Vanuatu, Samoa and Tonga.

They were also the first to participate in the LM when it was first implemented. If you look at PNG, we only have 1,429 which is less than 5 per cent of the total market share of jobs compared to Vanuatu with more than 35 per cent.

Collectively combined, PNG is still ranked one of the lowest in the country compared to our small other Pacific Island countries,” Mrs Moka said.

The PNG Labour Mobility Scheme since introduced in 2010 has shifted through three Department, initially through Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of Labour and Industrial Relations and currently under Department of Treasury.

Mrs Moka noted the reforms taken to increase the number of PNG participation between the years of 2019 has seen a progressive turnaround but there is a need to do more work to see an increase in the number of locals going to Australia and New Zealand.

Under the new reforms, the government is looking at sending 8000 workers annually with a target of 32,000 by 2025, yet we have not reached the halfway target.