23 Mar 2019

Australia-Pacific Labour Mobility starts for Samoa

1:09 pm on 23 March 2019

The new Australia-Pacific Labour Mobility scheme has started for seven young Samoan men who are the first to be employed under the initiative.

The initiative was signed last September by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and the Australian Foreign Minister, Marise Payne.

The scheme is similar to the New Zealand Seasonal Workers Scheme but the difference is in the duration of the work permits.

New Zealand seasonal workers are hired for periods from three months to a maximum of six months before returning home.

Those chosen under the Australian scheme will be allowed to work for 12 months and will also get a 3 year visa.

According to Talamua Online, Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour, Pulotu Lyndon Chu-Ling said 40 people applied for only seven vacancies available at the Cowra Meat Processors Company in New South Wales.

He said the rest are on the stand-by list, and according to Peter Garlick, the company's Production Manager, they will be looking at recruiting more workers from Samoa.

The set salary under the pilot program is AUD$900 a week. Australian minimum wage is AUD$700 per week.