18 Seasonal Workers From Fiji Didn't Return From Australia

Employers don't plan on recruiting any more workers from urban areas after group disappears

By Litia Cava

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Oct. 13, 2016) – Eighteen Fijian seasonal workers who left last year for work in Australia are still on the run.

This was revealed by Employment Minister Jone Usamate, who said of the 137 workers that left Fiji only 119 returned.

He was speaking at the Lau Provincial Council meeting in Suva yesterday.

Mr Usamate said because of this, employers from Australia planned to recruit only 33 people for seasonal work from Fiji this year.

"This is why we have decided that we will recruit from rural areas because many of these people who left in this batch last year and have not returned were recruited from urban areas.

He said this year New Zealand employers decided to recruit 96 workers, compared with 46 last year.

"Workers' performance is very important. If they are able to show the employers they are hardworking, then employers will not hesitate to recruit our people."

He also clarified that the Government did not decide on the type of employees to recruit.

"Australia seasonal workers' employers require people to be recruited must be from the ages of 18-45 while New Zealand seasonal employers need those who are 21 to 45 years old.

"This is a great source of income for those who are unemployed in our villages and it also contributes to our economy as a whole and with this in mind we should be mindful that people who will be sent through this program are able to live up to the expectations of employers," Mr Usamate said.

To date 312 Fijians are in Australia and New Zealand under the scheme.

Fiji Times Online.
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