By Timothy Inifiri Jr., reporter@sbmonline
With currently about 4,705 workers in Australia at the moment, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade (MFAET) Collin Beck has said that Labour Mobility Unit (LMU) will be looking to send about 2000 plus more workers to Australia this calendar year as part of the Labour mobility scheme.
“Going forward, we are basically looking at sending 2,000 to 2,500 workers to Australia and then we are hoping to probably reach 1,000 plus or so in New Zealand as of this year,” said Beck.
However, with the recent cyclone Gabrielle that devastated New Zealand earlier this year, Beck said that it will also affect both the farms and the market but so far more workers are also being sent to New Zealand.
“If the demand for labourers is high then we will be looking to deliver,” he said,
“If we’re just talking about 2,000 to 3,000 workers, that’s what we envision but if we are to push beyond that, [then] we are prepared too,” Beck added.
More than 15, 000 people have applied in the past two weeks when LMU opened for its open recruitment.
With other Pacific Island nations having a cap or limit to the number of workers they send, PS Beck said that the number of Solomon Islanders that are looking for work are too high to put any cap or limit.
PS Beck also mentioned that pre departures for workers going to Australia will also be done on Thursday 23rd march and on Friday 24th of this week.