GUADALCANAL CITREC graduates Amelia Muse and Careka Volly are on their way to Canada both as food supervisors for an international fast-food restaurant chain.
This time their employment in Canada is not seasonal but for a complete 24-month period within which time frame they will apply to become Permanent Residence (PR) of Canada while working and staying within Canada.
This is after they have been nominated under the Immigrant Nominee programme of the Saskatchewan government.
Both Volly and Ms Muse have created history for the Solomon Islands becoming the first Solomon Islanders to be nominated under the Immigrant nominee programme.
Also approved to travel with Mr Volly is his spouse and two dependent children who will soon all call Canada their home. In total 4 persons in Mr Volly’s family will be travelling to Canada while Ms Muse will be travelling as the only principle applicant.
Mr Volly’s children will soon be entitled to go to school in Canada while Volly’s spouse upon arrival into Canada will be eligible to seek a temporary work permit while their PR application for Canada is being finalised within Canada.
Canadian Immigration Officials made a decision on both the files of Mr Volly and Ms Muse on Friday afternoon and Immigration Counsel communicated the decision to CITREC Chairman His Excellency Ashwant Dwivedi the same day.
“At 3.30pm Friday afternoon I was informed that Immigration counsel wished to speak with me on matter relating to two Solomon Islands nationals. I took the phone call and was told that both Ms Muse and Mr Volly had been accepted and nominated for immigration to Canada. I said to the counsel this is the best news and gift I can offer to the Province of Guadalcanal on its 33rd Second Appointment day and Solomon Islands as a whole,” Chairman Dwivedi said.
Both Volly and Ms Muse personally received called from Chairman Dwivedi over the weekend and were informed of the decision.
“They sounded very optimistic and excited and said they can’t wait to return to Canada to work and earn and then help support their family back home in the Solomon’s.
This is great achievement for both of the graduates,” Chairman Dwivedi said.
Chairman Dwivedi added that within hours immigration documents were transmitted and Immigration letters for both the applicants were clearly visible on his table.
Without breaching privacy details Chairman Dwivedi provided the following information.
I can confirm that Immigration authorities have clearly stated in their letter to both Mr Volly and Ms Muse the following: “You have been nominated under the Immigration programme and a certificate of nomination from the province where you will be residing has been issued in your name and has been shared with Canada’s Citizenship & Immigration Branch.
“It has been determined that you are urgently required to begin your employment with the employer. This means that both have to be packing their bags and getting on a plane as soon as some of the remaining formalities are completed,” Chairman Dwivedi said.
Guadalcanal Premier Honourable Anthony Veke has welcomed the news calling it a great achievement for the people of Guadalcanal and Solomon Islands.
“It is indeed history in the making for the Guadalcanal Province to have two of their residents be nominated under this government program and being able to secure employment along with migration to Canada.
I thank the office of the Chairman and CITREC Management along with Canadian government officials for their commitment behind this success story,” Guadalcanal Premier Veke said.
Chairman Dwivedi said that before nomination of both the applicants were confirmed under immigration rules the Canadian employer had to enter into an written contract with Canadian authorities which clearly stated the terms of their employment which is not limited to their position with the restaurant chain, salary and other benefits.
“To ensure that the process is transparent and protects the employer-employee relationship Immigration officials very carefully examines each employer before a letter of support to bring in the International Skilled Worker is provided following which the employer submits an application for nomination to Immigration.
“ Both Ms Muse and Mr Volly will be employed as International Skilled Workers have met the education qualification of CITREC and their work experience and necessary training in area of Food and Hospitality Sector,” Chairman Dwivedi said.
He further added that both are confirmed to be receiving a salary at rate of Canadian $14 an hour which in today’s conversion works around Solomon $86 an hour per worker.
“Apart from this both workers will be entitled to other benefits including 4 percent vacation pay and uniform,” Chairman Dwivedi said.
Chairman Dwivedi added that the biggest benefit to both workers is that they will be obtaining their Canadian Permanent Residency and then becoming Canadian Citizens in the years to come.
“What the CITREC partnership has done is that we are not only educating but we work with our graduates to help them select and build their careers in the area of their study. You can produce many graduates but the most important aspect of education is when you are able to apply what you have learned in a classroom setting to help support your family and economy.
This process may have taken some time but we are providing to our graduates a lifelong solution,” Chairman Dwivedi said.
It was last year when Two Guadalcanal Canadian International Training and Education Corp (CITREC) graduates had successfully arrived in Canada as part of a foreign worker partnership between Guadalcanal Province and CITREC Canada.
Canadian officials have continuously praised the partnership calling it a success and a right step in the area of Human Resource Development that will grow in months and years to come and help boost foreign remittances into Solomon Islands economy.
The Canadian Governments Immigration Division granted the two successful GP Workers with work permits allowing them to be employed in Canada for a 4-month period under Canada’s seasonal worker programme.
Saskatchewan Governments Minister for Economy Honourable Jeremy Harrison had praised his provinces partnership with Guadalcanal Province saying it has helped local Saskatchewan employers fill needs that the province had experienced last summer.
“This partnership has helped local employers fill needs that they had this past summer and will assist the Guadalcanal students build their careers back home in Solomon’s,” Minister of the Economy Harrison said.
“Saskatchewan is known all over the world for our brand of hospitality and we take pride in the fact that students from around the world, including the Solomon Islands, come to our province to gain valuable experience in our tourism industry,” Minister Harrison said.
Guadalcanal Premier Anthony Veke has praised the People and Government of Saskatchewan saying the Province and its citizens are playing an important role in building Guadalcanal’s economy.
Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has praised Solomon Islands growing relations with Canada, saying he looks forward to further strengthening the bilateral ties between the two countries and also fully utilising the labour mobility opportunities which Canada presents.
The Prime Minister said the recent success of two Guadalcanal– CITREC graduates in Canada as seasonal workers further present opportunities for the Solomon Islands Government to consider Canada as a labour mobility partner in areas of tourism and hospitality.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Sogavare also praised the Premier of Guadalcanal Hon Anthony Veke and his provincial government for their commitment to aggressively pursue labour mobility opportunities with Canada.
“I must congratulate Guadalcanal Provincial government and Premier Veke for this labour mobility arrangement with Canada. This partnership has surely started to yield results and I feel that there are many others who can take advantage of this opportunity at the national level.
“I am indeed very encouraged by the earnings of the two workers from Guadalcanal Province during their seasonal employment in Canada,” Prime Minister Sogavare added.
The Prime Minister said should the earnings be consistent, Solomon Islands like other countries in the world can place itself as an exporter of seasonal workers to Canada.
Solomon Islands sends its workers to Australia and New Zealand as part of its seasonal employment arrangements with these two countries.
Last year Canada became the third country to provide seasonal employment for Solomon Islanders when Guadalcanal Province sent two of its people for seasonal jobs in Canada.
Both Amelia Muse and Careka Volly who are now preparing for their long- term employment were selected as successful candidates of the Canadian employment partnership between the Canadian Tourism Sector Council and Guadalcanal Province last year.
CITREC Canada said that apart from both the selected graduates they have active 3 more application for process under same criteria and are hoping for a response with 6-8 weeks.
Chairman Dwivedi said that his office is in consultation with the Education division of Guadalcanal Education ministry on an opportunity that is proposed under pilot project by the Canadian government that will involve Guadalcanal residents as well.