23 Jun 2006

Canadian scheme to feature at Wellington conference on Pacific labour mobility

4:05 pm on 23 June 2006

A conference next week on labour issues in the Pacific is to consider the Canadian government's experience in bringing in workers from the Caribbean.

New Zealand's Pacific Co-operation Foundation is organising the event, The Future of the Pacific Labour Market in Wellington.

Its chairman, Neil Plimmer, says the PCF is bringing in speakers from the World Bank, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Pacific Islands Forum and academics.

He says a Canadian official has been invited because that country's methods are seen as best practice in areas such horticulture where Caribbean workers are brought in for stints of three to four months.

"Also Canada has, at a different layer, training schemes for nurses, for example, in the Caribbean, that would come up and meet a nursing demand which is a longer term demand in Canada. Their best practice on this seems to be that they have succeeded in building financial incentives into the arrangement that ensures the temporary workers will go back home at the end of their stint in Canada."