By Lisa Williams-Lahari - firstname.lastname@example.org
Australia's Pacific Labour Scheme covering workers from Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu is to expand to include Samoa.
Photo/ DevPolicy Blog.
Announced by Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the 2017 Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting in Apia, the scheme gives Pacific islanders the opportunity to work in rural and regional Australia for up to three years.
The scheme will initially be capped at 2,000 workers and offers year-round employment unlike the Seasonal Worker Program for both Australia and New Zealand.
Samoa's Minister of Commerce, Industry and Labour Lautafi Fio Selafi Purcell says the three-year working visa under the Pacific Labour Scheme is an attractive feature of the new program for Pacific migrant workers into Australia.
Samoa will soon be hosting a delegation from Australia to work through the details towards both countries signing off on an MoU to formalise the new addition to the migrant labour scheme.
While the Pacific Labour Scheme has a longer term than other temporary migrant worker opportunities linked to seasonal shortages in Australia and New Zealand, it has the same rule on returning home at the end of a contract: workers are not to use the working visa as an opportunity to stay permanently.