The Australian government is committed to improving the standard of the Pacific Labour Mobility Scheme to ensure those under the program are not exploited.
Australia’s Minister for the Pacific, Pat Conroy said the improvement of the PALM Scheme also encompasses better support and protection for Fijians and other Pacific islanders working in various industries in Australia and New Zealand.
Conroy said the Australian government is also committed to expanding the PALM Scheme to have 35,000 Pacific workers under the programme next year.
“We’ve committed to expanding the scheme to have at least 35,000, Pacific workers, under the PALM Scheme in the next year and importantly, we are committed to providing extra protections for Pacific workers because we have heard about unfortunate cases of exploitation. So we’ve got better protection and support for Pacific workers.”
He said that with the capacity of workers increased to 35,000 next year, such a programme will not only help individuals secure employment but improve their skills as well.
“This Scheme helps the Australian economy. If we get it right, it helps Pacific islanders and their communities back home. It also gives them valuable skills that they can take with them when they go home.”
As part of Australia’s commitment to improving the PALM Scheme, they will be allowing those on long-term employment to move abroad with their families.
“We are also allowing a trial of 200 long-term civic workers to bring their families to Australia because we know it’s very difficult to be away from your family for sometimes three to four years.”
More than 3000 Fijians are working under the Pacific Labour Scheme after the Australian Government opened its doors for seasonal workers in 2015.
SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS