By EDDIE OSIFELO
SOLOMON Islands hopes to reach 5,200 workers by end of this year for the seasonal workers schemes in Australia and New Zealand.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Jeremiah Manele confirmed this when asked by Member of Parliament for Small Malaita, Rick Hou in Parliament yesterday.
Manele said by end of this year, they hope to reach above 5,200 workers, just some few 100s short of target and vision for 2023 which is 5,500, according to our Labour Mobility Strategy (2019-2023).
He said in total they have 4,413 seasonal workers currently working in Australia and NZ under the seasonal labour programme.
In terms of economic impact, Central Bank of Solomon Islands has confirmed that the total remittances (inflow) for 2021 was $215 million.
This is 68 percent increase from $128 million reported in 2020.
CBSI also confirms that these figures include remittances from both seasonal workers and non-seasonal workers.
The Labour Mobility Strategy was developed and endorsed by Cabinet in 2018.
It has been developed in tandem with the Labour Mobility Policy Framework and together these documents outline the Solomon Islands Government’s [SIGs] plans and system for growing labour mobility opportunities over the next five-year period (2019 – 2023).
Fundamental principles underpinning the labour mobility strategy are that it aligns with other government strategies for the development of the domestic economy, by:
- Developing new employment opportunities for Solomon Islanders
- Increasing international earnings for investment in the domestic economy
- Developing workforce skills for entrepreneurship and the creation of new industry.