Fiji trails behind other PICs in seasonal workers scheme:Archer

A man works in a Hawke's Bay orchard under the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme. Picture: FT FILE

IN terms of recognition, Fijian seasonal workers may trail behind Pacific island countries like Vanuatu, Tonga and the Solomon Islands because those countries had joined the scheme three years earlier than Fiji.

Responding to questions raised from former seasonal workers during the return seasonal workers workshop in Labasa today, the lead capacity building adviser of the Labour Mobility Assistance Program (LMAP), Renee Archer, said those countries had already established their links with Australia.

Ms Archer said that was why the LMAP was working with the Ministry of Employment’s National Employment Centre in marketing Fijian workers overseas.

Also speaking during an answer and question period, the ministry’s assistant employment officer, Sakeo Talemaimaleya, told returned seasonal workers that this was why they played an important role in mantaining a good relationship with their employers.

“Fiji is one of the last countries to join the scheme and we are still trying to build the reputation of our workers with orchard owners, at the same time competing with other Pacific island countries,” said Mr Tikomaimaleya.

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