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1000 Fijians to benefit from seasonal workers programme

The signing of an updated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Fijian and Australian government yesterday will enable about 1000 Fijians to benefit from the Seasonal Workers Programme (SWP) this year. While signing the agreement in Suva yesterday afternoon, Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Hon. Semi Koroilavesau said the SWP will enable Fijians […]

DEPTFO

February 17, 2016 10:57 am

The signing of an updated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Fijian and Australian government yesterday will enable about 1000 Fijians to benefit from the Seasonal Workers Programme (SWP) this year.

While signing the agreement in Suva yesterday afternoon, Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Hon. Semi Koroilavesau said the SWP will enable Fijians in rural communities to participate, earn income, gain new skills and return to Fiji to add value to their lives.

The SWP is mutually beneficial initiative providing valuable opportunities for Fijians to secure short-term employment in Australia and help Australian employers fill gaps in the labour force.

“The program is consistent with Fiji and Australia’s focus on creating jobs, boosting incomes and economic development,” Minister Koroilavesau said.

“Since the original MOU was signed the Australian government has announced an expansion of the SWP including removing the annual limit on the number of workers who can participate in the program. It also expanded the Programme to the agriculture industry and the accommodation industry in selected locations.”

Recently the Australian Government announced the inclusion of cattle, sheep, grain and mixed farming in the programme, providing Australian employers in these industries the opportunity to become approved employers and recruit seasonal workers, including workers from Fiji.

Australian High Commissioner to Fiji Margaret Twomey said this is another example of Australia’s commitment to labour mobility, productive employment and economic growth in Fiji.

“We expect Fiji with its strong tourism and agricultural industries to be well placed to make the most of the opportunities under the expanded SWP,” Ms Twomey said.

Currently, there are about 150 Fijians working under the SWP in Australia.

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