Solomons seasonal workers warned of false agents
Seaonal workers in Solomon Islands warned not to give money to false agents promising access to work in Australia and New Zealand.
The Solomon Islands Ministry of Foreign affairs has issued a warning to people seeking seasonal work in New Zealand and Australia against giving money to false recruiting agents.
The extremely popular seasonal workers scheme is attracting more and more Solomon Islanders with some even leaving permanent jobs to enter the scheme.
Foreign Affairs Labour Mobility Coordinator, Jack O'oi told Koroi Hawkins the program can literally change the lives of people without employment and false agents are exploiting this situation by promising immediate access to seasonal work.
JACK O'OI: What we can do is to try and make public aware of the right procedures. How to find out who are the genuine agents, what are the, who is responsible for facilitating these arrangements.
KOROI HAWKINS: And these bogus agents how much are they asking from people what are the reports you are getting?
JO: The amounts varies but some of them maybe charging up to 200 dollars solomon islands and that is a lot of money. All we can do is warn the people not to give any money to any agents who may be asking money from them in promising them to recruit them to maybe Australia or New Zealand. And we also ask the workers if they could possibly take this further to report these issues with the police.
KH: And obviously there is a lot of interest in seasonal work and working in Australia and New Zealand. How big has the program got so far?
JO: Currently in New Zealand we have about 500 workers and the number maybe increase but that depends on the demand. For Australia we are hoping to send some workers, we have a few workers there in Australia already. And we are looking forward maybe next week we will send at least 20 workers.
KH: The Tuvaluan Prime Minister has recently said that he would like the scheme to not just be in Agriculture but to extend to trades and to other technical fields where workers could gain added skill sets that they could take home to Tuvalu. Is that something Solomon Islands would also like done or is that something you are talking about or not?
JO: Yes we also would like the scheme to extend to those areas in terms of building up capacities of the workers. Especially with tradesmen not only specific to horticulture but also other areas that the workers can get skills out from that could be used back at home.
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