Regional Seasonal Workers scheme set to expand

28 June 2017, 12:00AM

Samoans may soon work as seasonal workers in New Zealand’s tourism and fisheries industries.

Tentatively a pilot project to this effect will start before the end of the year, the Chief Executive with the Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet Agafili Shem Leo announced at the signing ceremonies this week of Memorandum of Understanding with villages also related the seasonal workers.

The binding agreement is geared to safeguard the integrity of seasonal employment partnerships with New Zealand and Australia.

And government is duty bound to protect the integrity of the seasonal employment incentives taking into account the thousands of families which have reaped the fruits of hard labor from the temporary employment schemes especially the New Zealand Recognized Seasonal Workers (R.S.E) where 1,600 Samoa are receiving employment this year.

And the M.O.U. with villages is to strengthen the local administration of the temporary employment process with villages playing a leading role when it comes to disciplinary enforcement as well as monitoring the behaviors of their respective villagers who are fortunate to be eligible for seasonal work in New Zealand and Australia.

To that end, the first M.O.U. signing took place this week between government and village representatives or Sui o Nu’u and Sui Tamaitai o Nu’u for Upolu.

The C.E.O. of M.P.M.C.  elaborated “villages play a prominent role in terms of disciplining our RSE workers.  And for villages to be effective, they must have a sense of ownership and responsibility to be part of the solution and not the problem.”

“With more employment opportunities expected from our New Zealand and Australia partners not only for Samoa but other Pacific Island countries, the M.O.U. is a testament to our employers that our government is more than committed to repay their generosity to provide much needed jobs for our people.”

“The seasonal employment has more than improved the quality of life for hundreds low income families, it has also contributed to our Gross Domestic Product not to mention our Foreign Reserves.”

For villages which have not signed the M.O.U., Agafili says that they can report to the Seasonal Employment Unit (S.E.U.) with M.P.M.C. on the fourth floor of the Government Building before July 1st.

After July 1st, the S.E.U. will move to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labor which will take charge.

Said M.C.I.L.’s Chief Executive Pulotu Lyndon Chu Lin;

“The M.O.U. is crucial and very important because it relays a strong message to Samoa that government is leading the way in securing more employment and new jobs for the people.” 

“The M.O.U. signifies the importance of this stepping stone and we are asking our community leaders to make an effort and support this initiative.”

“It’s not just for government but for low income families needing work to support their families.”

On that note, villages that have yet to sign the agreement will not be exempted from stand down policies initiated by government is one of their village member is disciplined and deported home for violating conditions of his or her temporary employment.

28 June 2017, 12:00AM

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