Seasonal workers to fly to Australia

Over 600 seasonal workers will be flown to Australia to work under the Pacific Labour Scheme and the Seasonal Worker Programme.

The deployment to Australia will begin next week, according to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour and will include both new and returning seasonal workers.

They include those who had initially planned to fly at the beginning of 2020 but had their travel  canceled due to the border closure brought on at that time by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The M.C.I.L. has done pre-departure briefings for all seasonal workers, to ensure that they are provided with essential and helpful information, which they would need upon their arrival in Australia.

The briefings were designed to prepare the workers for a life and work in Australia, knowing what to expect and making the most of their experiences and the opportunities that come with the work.

It also gave them a good understanding of their rights and responsibilities as an employee including their visa conditions, which they have to meet in order to stay in Australia and concluded with health and safety measures in relation to the coronavirus.

A special briefing was also convened for the caretaker Minister of Commerce Industry and Labour, Lautafi Fio Selafi Purcell to deliver a strong message to the seasonal workers, where he reminded them of their ambassadorial roles and emphasised the need for them to perform well for their selected employers.

The seasonal workers’ M.C.I.L. briefing sessions were also attended by their family members.

Samoa last participated in the S.W.P. scheme in 2012 and the P.L.S. in 2018 with an M.C.I.L. statement attributing the resumption of the two schemes to the close partnership between the Australia and Samoan governments. 

It is understood the seasonal workers will travel to Australia between April 7–13 and will undergo a 14 day quarantine upon their arrival.

Another 700-plus Samoan seasonal workers left the country for New Zealand in mid-February and have already settled in.

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