Seasonal work applications expected to hit 16k next year
By EDDIE OSIFELO
MINISTRY of Foreign Affairs and External Trade expects to receive around 16,000 applications when the recruitment for seasonal workers programme opens in first quarter, next year.
Minister of MFAET, Jeremiah Manele confirmed this during his contribution in the sine die motion in Parliament, last week.
He said the last recruitment was on August 2021 and that time received 8000 applications.
“We expect the numbers to double,” he said.
Manele said his ministry will inform the public on the date so that those whose interested can apply.
Currently there are 5,000 Solomon Islanders currently working under the seasonal labour programme in Australia and New Zealand – 4,500 in Australia, 500 in New Zealand.
Furthermore, Manele said the ministry is working in collaboration with other ministries and agencies to reduce the costs of health checks.
“For example, medical clearance is now down from $1500 to $1000,” he said.
He said they will continue to work with other stakeholders to explore the possibility of further reducing the costs of people applying for seasonal work.
“We will also explore ways to reduce banking costs,” he added.
Looking beyond 2023, Manele said they are looking forward to get half of the Pacific labour markets and also explore opportunities beyond the Pacific, especially countries like Canada and United Arab Emirates.
Responding to calls by the Opposition to look at returning workers, Manele said his ministry has heard the call to do more on returning workers and will look on that.