There are now more than 6,000 workers who are working in Australia and New Zealand with 15,000 people still on the queue.
In a statement today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which hosts the Labour Mobility Unit says Labour mobility is an agenda of significant importance for Solomon Islands and its partner agencies.
“To date, more than 6,000 workers are directly engaging in labour mobility offshore in both Australia and New Zealand, whilst at least 15,000 people are in the queue to join the pool of candidates seeking to participate in the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) and Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) schemes,” the statement.
Director of LMU Natalia Patternot said with the recognition that labour mobility in the Pacific has increased over the years, the unilateral schemes provided by Australia and New Zealand continues to play a crucial role in driving economic development, where remittances play a huge role in sustaining livelihoods and alleviating poverty and other socio-economic challenges.
She therefore acknowledges and recognise labour mobility schemes as opportunities for Pacific Island workers to gain new skills and knowledge in the industries they are placed in the receiving countries and then return to their home countries to apply these skills in various sectors such as construction, tourism, agriculture, and other key industries.
Meanwhile the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade last week organized a Consultation on Pacific Regional Labour Mobility (PRLMS) in Honiara.
The consultation was facilitated by a visiting delegation from the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (PIFS) office in Suva, Fiji. It brought together representatives of diplomatic missions, senior government officials, participants from the private sector and non-governmental organisations. Joining the consultation virtually included representatives from PIFS and International Organization for Migration (IOM).