Beneficial Future for Samoa denies allegations
The man behind the Beneficial Future for Samoa organisation, Alo Faamanu Vaai, is standing by the legitimacy of its operation.
Contrary to allegations against the company floating around on social media, Alo told the Samoa Observer that their aim is to secure job opportunities for Samoans.
The 62-year-old from Malifa said that his agency provides a recruitment service.
“I think that the reason why some people claim that our company is [improper is] because the applicants who registered were not successful in securing employment opportunities,” he said.
He said his company was registered as a non-profit organisation. But he changed its status for financial reasons and to take his business to "another level".
“And that is the reason why I registered under Inland Revenue under Ministry of Revenue," he said.
“Applicants pay a registration fee [of] $50.”
Asked about how people feel when they pay a fee to register but do not secure a job, he said that most applicants are not successful because of their educational background.
Matters were complicated when a planned recruitment drive with American Samoa's Starkist fell through, he said.
“We gathered 127 applicants earlier this year from Upolu and Savai'i, both men and women, with the hope to apply for the work at the American Samoa company Starkist.
“I was not able to register my company under Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour (M.C.I.L.) but was told to try next year," he said.
"Instead I registered under my name but Starkist said that M.C.I.L. said that there is no company registered with them.
“I was also able to talk with the M.C.I.L. Chief Executive Officer, Pulotu Lyndon Chu Ling. who said that they will give us the first chance for the 127 [positions] and they will complete it to make it 200.”
He added that weeks’ passed but they never heard anything from M.C.I.L. but instead they heard that there were people going to American Samoa to work for Starkist but not one applicant from their side was able to secure a job.
“I think that this was the reason why so many people claim that we are a scam but I want members of the public to know that this is not a scam," he said.
“I asked Labour [M.C.I.L.] to register Beneficial Future for Samoa as an agency but they said to wait till next year which is why I used my name.
“The applicants did not pay any fee because I know the law, because if you are under labour you cannot collect any fee so whatever money we have and the boys money we gather together to help them.”
Alo says he feels sorry for those that are spreading the rumours about his company.
“It seems that there must be something blinding them that they can’t see the bigger picture only because they don’t have a clear heart," he said.
“If it was a scam, I would not spend a lot of money to pay for the people’s visa to go to the America.
“We were able to secure ten work opportunities for some of our applicants at a fishing boat in American Samoa called Long Line.”
The biggest obstacle jobseekers face is a lack of training or education, Alo said.
“Most of our applicants are not successful because of the level of education, which is why I have to find more companies to fit the level of education," he said.
“Some people do not have English speaking skills so they have a hard time.
“I always tell people that it is first come first serve and if they come in and they do not qualify for any of the work opportunities then I will find you a job to help your family no matter how long.”
He said that they are looking at 20 people to go work at the Hilton Fort in America sometime this month.
According to Sa’u Taupisi Fa’amau, the Assistant Chief Executive Officer of Apprenticeship, Employment and Labour Market (A.E.L.M.) Division under M.C.I.L., the Government of Samoa does not have any affiliations with private organisations or companies that conduct private registration for work overseas as part of seasonal work.
“Under the Samoan Government it is solely conducted by the Labour and Employment Export Program (L.E.E.P.) Division of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour at no cost," Sa'u saod.