BY GEORGINA KEKEA
SOLOMON Islands is hosting the Pacific Labour Mobility Annual Meeting (PLMAM) in Honiara this week. The purpose of this PLMAM is to provide a regular forum to discuss regional labour mobility priorities.
Established under the Labour Mobility arrangement of the Pacer Plus Agreement, the arrangement establishes an annual meeting as the primary mechanism through which regional cooperation will be advanced.
The meeting is intended to address key elements of cooperation set out in the arrangement. This includes enhance existing labour mobility schemes and exploring opportunities for new labour mobility, build institutional capacity of agencies that manage labour mobility, promote and improve current visa categories to facilitate greater circulation of temporary workers, tertiary vocational education and training as well as to recognize qualifications and registration of occupations.
Australia and New Zealand have committed to fund the annual meetings. Signatories to the arrangement will take turns hosting the meetings.
In his foreword address, Prime Minister Rick Hou says everyone must take advantage of this gathering.
“The various labour mobility programs we have individually embarked upon in our respective countries have indeed changed the lives of many of our people for the better. We have witnessed tremendous development from our returning workers. Families, communities and the countries benefit. The program have also benefitted both Australia and New Zealand”, Hou said.
The meeting proper starts today under the theme, ‘Shaping our futures together’.
Prior to the meeting proper, participants also took part in optional activities. Yesterday, farm owners and employers took an excursion to visit workers in the Seasonal Workers Program (SWP) and Recognised Seasonal Employers (RSE) scheme.
The excursion yesterday was at Kakabona and Visale. Most of the seasonal workers yesterday were gathered at Kakabona to meet the employers.
The meeting proper will end on Friday.