2 more CITREC grads head for Canada

GP-Minister of Education Lazarus Rina (L) and Finance Minister Keith Robu jointly hand over travel documents to Canada-bound workers. Photo by Macfaddean Aoraunisaka

CANADA’s labour mobility partnership through Canadian International Training & Education (CITREC) is bringing more Solomon Islanders into Canada.

CITREC Chairman Ashwant Dwivedi believes that by the end of next year the numbers are expected to significantly grow as more Solomon Islands provinces are joining the programme.

He also said that Solomon Islanders dedication, good nature and work ethic are very well credited for by the Guadalcanal workers who are presently in Canada under GP-CITREC partnership which is resulting in more employers seeking workers from Solomon Islands.

On Thursday two more graduates of the GP-CITREC programme were handed their travel documents at the Guadalcanal provincial government headquarters for their travel into Canada to be employed in the dairy sector.

Mr Paul Labukode and Mr Peter Sagaru will be joining group of workers already working in the Agriculture section in Canada and were presented their immigration and travel documents before Guadalcanal ministers.

In a statement Guadalcanal province’s minister for education, Lazarus Rina, presented the travel documents to the graduates yesterday and reminded the two Canada-bound workers that when they arrive in Canada Guadalcanal province only expects the best from them and that they must uphold their commitment to their Canadian employer.

“I want to remind you that you both represent your families, community, province and Solomon Islands as a whole. I only expect the best from both of you. Remain committed and dedicated and make Guadalcanal and Solomon Islands proud,” Rina said.

Rina also reminded the two Canada-bound workers to be good ambassadors and display their identity as responsible Guadalcanal people.

“Also let me remind you that when you touch down on Canadian soil you must be willing and ready to be follow the Canadian law. You must always uphold the laws of Canada to your benefit and interest,” Rina said.

Guadalcanal Finance Minister Amaziah Keith Rubo said the GP-CITREC partnership is growing and that he wants to see the programme grow further.

“Therefore, you all act as important persons towards our partnership with Canada. As our partnership has already started to yield financial benefit we at the Guadalcanal government remain committed to see the human resources aspect of the program grow as well,” Rubo said.

“Be proud of yourself and of the opportunity and we only expect best of your performance.”

Guadalcanal’s Minister of Infrastructure Andrew Rayboy said that with the number of workers to Canada set to grow he is confident that with remittances that would be sent to the benefit of Guadalcanal province by the GP-CITREC workers, the province in future can improve its infrastructure.

“Therefore, it is very important that you all work hard and help build opportunity for others. The remittances we will receive will help our provincial government provide essential services to your people,” Rayboy said.

Member of Provincial Assembly (MPA) Godfrey Raubola who was also present at the handover ceremony said that the labour mobility partnership is the strong result of CITREC-Guadalcanal partnership and in future the province is only going to strengthen its partnership.

CITREC Chairman Dwivedi said that Canadian employers are hiring more GP-CITREC graduates and Canada’s foreign worker policy is also becoming an attractive part of the partnership.

“Canada’s foreign worker benefit is one of the best that is enjoyed by Guadalcanal workers. We in Canada treat our workers as families. And so far, our Guadalcanal workers have continued to show their dedication and commitment to their Canadian employers.”

Canada has started to issue Guadalcanal workers with 24-month work permits. Canada’s employment opportunity comes with Canadian standard wages, medical and housing, where a significant cost housing is paid for by the Canadian employer. Employees under the contract only pay $30 a week in rental cost.

Also, employers pay for return air fare for the workers as part of their arrangement under Canada’s employment regulation. The airline ticket cost is not deducted from employee salaries.

Last week it was announced that Solomon Islands nationals who are job-ready graduates of the CITREC programme from Guadalcanal have been included in a new stream of employment which includes employment in Canada’s food processing sector.

Also included in the pilot project will be the province of Makira-Ulawa, which has recently been added to list of eligible provinces alongside Guadalcanal as part of the labour mobility partnership with Canada.

Furthermore, this opportunity will also be extended to any province that will partner with CITREC.

Speaking on the achievement, Dwivedi said that “Solomon Islands and the people of Guadalcanal have created a very strong trust among Canadian employers through their performance that is helping to create more opportunity among many sectors across Canada. Guadalcanal people and province must be congratulated for their leadership in area of creating partnership with Canadian employers”.

Dwivedi also confirmed that Makira-Ulawa has also been included in the new stream of employment opportunity.

“I can confirm that apart from tourism, hospitality and agriculture labour opportunities that Makira-Ulawa province will be participating in it also has the opportunity to be part of the food processing sector.”

Dwivedi further added that his office is working closely with the food processing sector and food service retail industry to identify candidates that it would be immediately seeking for its industry across Canada.

“My intention is to make sure that women are equally represented. I want women from the provinces of Guadalcanal and Makira-Ulawa to be part of the pool of workers that would be bound for Canadian employment opportunities.”

Dwivedi also confirmed that presently his academic team is working closely with the Education authority of Makira-Ulawa province and its government to implement the programme in the province by mid-August.

“This partnership between CITREC and the Makira-Ulawa provincial government (MUPG) is for the benefit of the province and its people. What makes this partnership unique is that the province of Guadalcanal has extended its support and its assistance through its education department to help MUPG deliver the CITREC programme to its province and to the people of MUPG.

“We are aiming for implementation of the programme by August. Since the announcement a few weeks ago of MUPG partnership with CITREC we have received many inquiries from interested candidates. We ask all of the candidates from MUPG to contact the provincial government for further details.

“This partnership between CITREC and the Makira-Ulawa provincial government is for the benefit of the province and its people. What makes this partnership unique is that the province of Guadalcanal has extended its support and its assistance through its education department to help MUPG deliver the CITREC programme to its province and to the people of MUPG.

“This is what partnership is all about. For Guadalcanal to lead will help facilitate this programme.”

Meanwhile, Dwivedi confirmed that MUPG will also be a beneficiary of the Remittances Accord.

“I can confirm that MUPG will receive the same benefit that Guadalcanal province is entitled to under the Remittances Accord. We have as a matter of fact amended some of the contents of the Accord and have referred it to the legal counsel’s office and relevant government office in Canada for the final reading. Once this has been received we will be sending this document across to the MUPG government for its consideration.”


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