The Leader of Opposition Matthew Wale fully endorses recent submissions by Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Australia, HE Robert Sisilo in Canberra, pushing for an increase in the current age limit, under the Labour Mobility Scheme and the Seasonable Workers Programme between Australia and Pacific Island Countries, up to 55 years.
Mr Wale says the dialogue in Canberra was timely given the need to ensure long term sustainability and efficiency of these programmes to continue benefiting participating countries and employers in Australia alike, hence the submissions by Mr Sisilo were crucial.
“If there is high demand in Australian urban and metropolitan areas for semi to skilled workers, the increase in the age limit will enable us fill a gap in Australian industries, while at the same time, the experience and exposure gained will no doubt add value to our efforts in keeping our domestic industry afloat moving forward,” says Wale.
The Opposition Leader therefore encourages the Government to continue the dialogue to increase the age limit, and to also push for an increase in the total number of workers going to Australia, from the current status, which is roughly 100, to at least a thousand per month.
The Opposition Leader then urged the Government to look at totally taking out the logistical costs involved, especially with passports, medical clearance, police clearance, birth certificates and other requirements, enabling more of our people to try out these opportunities.
“On this note, I also call on the High Commissioner, to establish a unit within his office, whose role is to scout for more of these opportunities in Australia.
“We need more workers to participate in this programme, so that they can contribute to our economy through remittances,” the Opposition Leader adds