Programme to help laid-off workers starts

By Marc Membrere 02 September 2021, 1:00PM

A two-day training programme aimed at helping laid-off workers in COVID-19 impacted industries to find employment is underway and creating a new sense of optimism among its participants.

The Career Counselling Programme is run by the Ministry of Commerce Industry and Labour (M.C.I.L), Samoa First Union, Samoa Worker's Congress and it is facilitated by the International Labour Organisation (I.L.O).

In an interview with the Samoa Observer on Wednesday, senior organiser of the Samoa First Union, Saina Tomi Setu said that the laid-off workers were identified through a ILO rapid survey and they are now trying to assist them get jobs.

According to Mrs Setu, the programme opens another door for them by helping them to identify other employment opportunities.

"After the rapid survey done by the ILO and we are the one gathering all the laid-off workers, in our database right now it's 3000 laid-off workers in Samoa," she said.

"Majority are the tourism industry, some of them are some seasonal workers that didn't get a chance to go back."

The 3000 laid-off workers according to her are from the COVID-19 impacted industries.

In previous programmes, Mrs. Setu said she saw them with potential in establishing their own business.

"We can see that there's a future in what they did," she said.

"So in our career counselling in Savaii we also identified some of the workers are starting working in new jobs right now."

The programme is facilitated by Laufiso Tomasi Peni of the I.L.O with the participants getting training in making their own curriculum vitaes, cover letters as well as learning more about the details of Government application forms.

Mrs. Setu said that some of the participants had previously been employed but didn't know how write a CV for themselves.

"This is a good chance for them," she said.

The second day of the programme will feature presentations by the Samoa Qualifications Authority (S.Q.A), the Samoa First Union and the Samoa Workers Congress.

One of the participants, Faimanifo Mafoa of Tafitoala, told the Samoa Observer of the importance of the programme to her.

She had worked at the Coconut Beach Club but was laid off due to the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic on Samoa's tourism industry.

"This programme is important as it shows us different ways we can go look for a job and places I can find a job," she said.

"I had some jobs through the help of Samoa First Union and the I.L.O. I got a job that was not full time, but just for four or three weeks or one month and I was able to earn income."

Ms. Mafoa said that she was laid off when the borders closed which led to many hotels and resorts closing their doors.

She said currently there are no job vacancies in hotels in her area of expertise but after the programme she is considering looking for a job in the public sector.

By Marc Membrere 02 September 2021, 1:00PM
Samoa Observer

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