Solomon Islands
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Plans in Place to Increase Participation to Labor Mobility

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade’s Labour Mobility Unit (LMU) aims to further increase and expand Solomon Islands’ participation under the Labour Mobility Arrangements with Australia and New Zealand.

Trade Commissioner of the Ministry, Barrett Salato, said this when speaking to more than 96 workers who are set to travel to New Zealand under the RSE Scheme during a pre-departure briefing held at St Barnabas Cathedral last week.

Salato said, “the LMU not only plans to further increase the number of Solomon Islands workers joining the schemes, but also our workers need to move up to higher paid jobs in other sectors as well, not just in the horticulture and viticulture industry”.

However, he said the labour mobility scheme is demand-driven and so our aim to increase numbers depend very much on several factors, including cost of recruitment, workers hard work and productivity, and workplace behavior and attitude.

Salato said, generally, he is quite happy for our RSE workers in New Zealand. “From the record we have, Solomon Islands has a low number of absconding compared to other participating countries”.

He also said that the LMU received many positive feedbacks from employers about the good work, attitude and behaviours of our RSE workers. “this is something I strongly encourage all of you to maintain and improve on, because these kinds of positive records and behavour can encourage more RSE employers to choose Solomon Islands to recruit from in the future, despite the fact that the cost of recruiting here is very high”, he said.

Salato reminded workers to be good ambassador of Solomon Islands while in New Zealand, respecting its laws, culture and people of the host country.

Commenting on the distribution of employment opportunities across different communities in the country, Salato said participation level of some of our remote and economically marginalized communities or provinces in the country are still very low.

He said, while the LMU does not dictate or make employers’ recruitment decisions, the government preference is to prioritize workers from remote and marginalized communities in the country.

“We always encourage employers to consider this in their recruitment decisions.

The majority of the 96 workers attended the pre-departure briefing are returning workers. They’ve been to New Zealand for more than one season, some have been working there for a couple of years or more.

The pre-departure briefing was conducted by Jack Waneoroa and Harrison Kabolo of the LMU.

Source: Press Release, MFAET