19 Dec 2011

Call to improve recruitment and training of RSE workers

7:13 am on 19 December 2011

Tonga's Ministry for Training , Employment, Youth and Sport, says seasonal workers travelling to New Zealand must be healthy and fit to make the most of the Recognised Seasonal Employment programme.

The Ministry's chief executive, Taniela Fusimalohi, says Tongan people have a reputation for being good workers and overall physical and mental fitness is vital.

He's recently been at a workshop in New Zealand for Pacific officials focussing on strengthening the scheme.

He says healthy workers are more productive which is important for both New Zealand farmers and Tongan families hoping for economic progress.

"We need to improve the way we recruit them and also the training undertaken in Tonga before they depart. We have to ensure that workers who do arrive in New Zealand are fit to work by properly training them and to see that we recruit people who are fit to work and don't arrive here with health problems or health issues."

Taniela Fusimalohi says the RSE is an instrument to achieve goals such as reducing poverty and youth unemployment.