Labour mobility emits huge remittance to the country


THE Labour Mobility Scheme continues to bring huge remittances to the country.

Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, His Excellency, Rod Hilton was in Auki this week and the scheme was amongst other development areas discussed with Premier Martin Fini, Deputy Premier, Joe Hero’au and Commerce Minister, Edward Misite’e.

He said for 2022 alone, Australia received 5,000 workers from Solomon Islands, in which 40 percent of them were Malaitans.

Hilton said the remittance they sent back to Solomon Islands for that year was SBD200 million, and 40 precent of it was SBD80 million received by Malaitans.

He said the SBD200 million, excluded money the workers brought home with them during their return.

Hilton said there is an outlook that the figure will increase to SBD300 million in 2023, and if so, Malaita province would likely receive SBD120 million for its 40 percent portion of the total workers.

Hilton said the remittance plays a significant role in addressing family needs like; school fees, building of house etc.

Hero’au thanked Australia and other partners in the programme for the benefits it has on the country particularly Malaita.

He said being with the biggest population, Malaita also has biggest demand for the programme.

Hero’au said that is portrayed in the number of workers to Australia last year, Malaita almost halved the 5,000 workers.

He said whilst Malaita provincial government applauds the programme, they have a concern that needs considering.

Hero’au said the concern is – what is next after the workers return home from the scheme?

“This is because there is no avenue provided in the country or province to utilise the skills they had learnt.”

He said although it is a national concern, Australia and the national government should be preparing for the workers by investing in areas would provide avenue for them.

Hero’au said one of which, particularly for Malaita province is Bina harbor processing plant project. If the project operates, it will create more jobs to address the concern.

The Deputy Premier, however, thanked the Australian government for being one of the key partners in the Bina harbor project and other economic infrastructure projects in the province.

Hero’au said Malaita provincial government will continues to work hand-in glove with them and other development partners towards the development aspirations of the province.

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