The deployment of the third batch of 162 Fijians this week has taken Fiji’s number to over 500 workers in Australia since the recommencement of the labour mobility programs during the COVID-19 period since November 2020.
At the closure of our borders, the Ministry has deployed a total of 231 workers under the Australia Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS).
This third batch which left the country on Tuesday, 16 March 2021 comprised of 96 meat workers engaged with employer, Regional Workforce Management (RWM), 10 agriculture workers with a new employer Patane Produce, 4 seasonal workers with Fruitco and 62 hospitality workers for Cable Beach Resort & Spa in Broome, Western Australia.
The hospitality employment opportunity is a seasonal work programme whereby workers will be engaged for the duration of 9 months contractual agreement. About fifty per cent of the hospitality workers are returning for their third and fourth time deployment. This signifies the good performance, commitment and dedication of our Fijian workers.
One Jiutajia Seruvolau, a returning worker for her fourth time engagement said that she first joined the programme in 2017 as a kitchen steward.
“This time around I will be engaged as a Cook and I am thrilled to join 8 other new Fijian workers in this field.”
She further added that in her previous deployment, she joined a group of 36 workers. This year she expressed her appreciation towards the increase in number which resulted from the hard work, positive attitude and dedication of Fijian workers’ performance in the past.
Serevolau sincerely thanked the Governments of Fiji and Australia for the great initiative and opportunity to gain money to support families back in Fiji as well as gaining skills and experiences.
The Fijian Government acknowledged the continued support from the Australian Government through our Vuvale Partnership Agreement which has strengthened our people-to-people links, as reflected in our labour mobility programs.
Furthermore, the Ministry acknowledged the two (2) Approved Employers under the Seasonal Work Program (SWP), Cable Beach and Fruitico, that has joined Patane Produce and the RWM team in recruiting our Fijian workers for work opportunities in Australia.
The Minister for Employment Honourable Parveen Kumar Bala during the pre-departure orientation last Thursday (11/03/21) farewelled the group and wished them the very best in their new work engagements.