ANOTHER group of Solomon Islanders left yesterday to work in Australia.
They are the latest to travel under the Australian Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP).
Again, public reaction to this latest travel was mixed.
While the majority are happy to see friends ands loved ones go, a few expressed scepticism and negativity.
They described the SWP as another “blackbirding”.
They felt instead of sending our people to go and work overseas, the Government should create more jobs at home to keep our people here.
Others assert our people should be creative and engage in other economic activities than seeking work overseas.
These critics may have a point.
But here’s the thing.
No matter how hard the Government tries to create more jobs at this time, not everyone will get a job.
It is just not possible at this time.
This is why we must not turn away possible job opportunities that are offered on our plates.
Working on a farm in Australia at this time is better than roaming the street of Honiara daily doing nothing.
One gets to earn an income and support his or her family back home.
The fact is the current SWP scheme has filled up an urgent void in our local labour market.
Those involved are earning an income that they would not have earned had it not been for such a scheme.
Besides experiencing a new way of life, they are also learning valuable skills and new attitude to work in a developed country like Australia.
Those who have previously participated in the scheme have a lot to say about it in terms of the lessons learned and the experiences gained.
Of course our participation in the scheme does not take away the Government’s obligation to facilitate and or create new job opportunities for our people.
The role will remain as long as we have a government and an economy.
This however, should not stop our people from participating in the work schemes Australia or New Zealand.
Those who say we shouldn’t be taking part in the work program need to think again!