Cabinet to grant the final approval for recognised seasonal workers, says PM


Cabinet will now grant the final approval for recognised seasonal workers. 

During a press conference last week, Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa says while the Government continues its reforms of the program, she plans to raise the R.S.E. issue on the regional level, when the Pacific Forum Leaders meet in Fiji later this month.

According to Fiame, the region is experiencing the same challenges surfacing from the RSE. 

Government media Savali reported that like Samoa, Forum country’s challenges include their respective skilled labourers attracted to work in New Zealand and Australia on a temporary basis for higher income.

However, a  regional approach is more equitable and can be more effective in addressing the delicate issue as a region and not as individual Forum countries.

According to Savali, with Government Leaders from New Zealand and Australia attending the upcoming meeting, Prime Minister Fiame also sees this as the opportune time for views from both the recruiting partners and the sending Pacific Island countries to brainstorm in hopes to reach a common ground of compromise.

She noted that Pacific Island countries are feeling the pinch with the recruitment of skilled workforce to meet the labour demands of the seasonal employment program and we need to deal with it as a region.

Fiame said Cabinet has taken into account recommendations and findings submitted the Committee and among the issues which surface was the recruitment of locals with permanent jobs such as teachers and police officers which contradicted the RSE number one priority to hire only people without jobs, the unemployed. 

This led to the decision for the Village Councils with the support from the respective 53 District Development Offices will be in charge of reviewing RSE job applications and forwarding their recommendation to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labor to prepare a Cabinet Submission.

Last month the government confirmed resuming of the seasonal worker’s scheme after it was suspended in January.