Samoan workers being briefed about the Seasonal workers scheme before they departed to work in New Zealand farms
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – TUESDAY 16 OCTOBER 2018: The Australian Government has opened a 3 year visa for their Labour Mobility program.
“As of last month, the Australian Government has opened up new pathways for the Pacific including a 3 year visa to successful participants of the program,” the Impact Investment Manager – Pacific Trade Invest Australia, Leata Alaimoana Roberts confirmed with Talamua.
She said the Labour Mobility scheme is quite exciting because it opens up 3 year visas for Pacific islanders to work in areas such as Hospitality, Age Care and Disabilities.
“These key areas we know are priority for Samoa as well,” said Roberts.
For Hospitality workers, they will explore opportunities in up skilling and capacity building so when they return to Samoa, they are able to utilize their skills locally according to Roberts.
“As for Age Care and Disability, I think it’s an opportunity because it’s something that comes naturally to us in the Pacific,” said Roberts.
The move was hailed by Samoa’s High Commissioner to Australia, Hinauri Petana as a great opportunity for Pacific people.
Only a few countries in the Pacific are in the Labour Mobility Scheme with Samoa recently joining after Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi signed the 3 year visa agreement during the Pacific Leaders Forum meeting in Nauru recently.
“The scheme also take in semi-skilled people to the program,” said Petana who led a delegation of 20 business people from Australia on the first Pacific Trade Investment trip to Samoa.
The Pacific Trade Investment mission includes not only the promotion of exports, but to introduce new pathways such as the Impact Investment Scheme that assists young entrepreneurs take advantage of new opportunities.