24 Dec 2012

Solomon Islands hopes to build on success of seasonal workers scheme

6:35 am on 24 December 2012

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Solomon Islands says it is hoping to build on its success from its seasonal employment scheme with New Zealand, with the start of a similar deal in Australia.

The Ministry has sent two groups, totalling eight men and women, to Hobart city in Tasmania to work for six months under the Pacific Seasonal Workers Programme.

The Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs in Solomon Islands, Bernard Bata'anisia, says it is the country's first batch of seasonal workers to Australia, who will labour in industries that are facing employee shortages.

"In the farms, in the horticulture industry, we are requested to provide workers. So I guess it's a number of areas that have been identified and which Solomon Islands is sending across its workers."

Bernard Bata'anisia says the Foreign Affairs ministry is planning to send more seasonal workers to Australia next year.