Twenty Fijians departed for Australia today to work as meat workers, under the Pacific Labour Scheme. The group are on three-year contracts and is the second batch of Fijian meat workers and packers under the scheme.
While bidding them farewell, Minister for Employment, Productivity, Industrial Relations and Youth and Sports, Hon. Parveen Kumar Bala said their success would determine the recruitment of other aspiring seasonal workers. “By the end of November, there will be 80 Fijians under this program in Australia so we don’t want to stop there but increase the pool,” he said.
“The only way we’ll be able to increase the pool will be based on your performance and your discipline, because we’ll be getting reports from your employers on your behavior,” the Minister reminded the group. The Pacific Labour Facility’s Labour Mobility Engagement Manager, Sascha Piggot said the group would be engaged for three-year contracts under the normal terms and conditions of any Australian employee. “It’s a demand-driven program, so it’s when employers show interest in recruiting and have become approved employers and also have recruitment plans approved,” she said.
Fiji joined the PLS through a Memorandum of Understanding in April this year, with the National Employment Center managing the PLS and registering interested applicants.