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Part of a group of Solomon Islanders who went under the Australian Seasonal Workers Programme and Labour Mobility Scheme. PHOTO AUSTRALIAN HIGH COMMISSION OFFICE

MFAET assures no restrictions in number of seasonal workers


Solomon Islands is not putting any limit on the number of workers to Australia and New Zealand after some Pacific Islands countries plan to do so to avoid gaps in employment domestically.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade permanent secretary, Collin Beck said all the countries in the Pacific have different levels of development.

“In our case we have 20,000 youths looking for jobs every year. In our situation, we are still a thirsty country that is looking for employment— both domestically and externally,” he said.

“While we keep trying and create job within, in the meantime, where there is opportunity, we will continue to embrace, utilize and take advantage of – we will try to ensure those that seek employment will always try to find space for them,” he said.

Beck said our population growth is another issue compared to other Pacific countries.

“We are basically one of the fastest. So, we are basically fertile ground to harvest opportunities out.

“Wherever there is employment, we will try to take advantage of it,” he said.

“It just that our growth is not keeping up with our developments needs and we just need to keep on working on creating more jobs within.

“Until that happens, until we reach that stage, we will continue to take advantage of that. We will move in an uncap way on this. We will not put some limits,” he added.

Island Sun understands Samoa and Vanuatu are considering regulating the number of their workers living their shores to work under the season labour programmes.

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