The four seasonal workers with National Employment Centre and Australian Government representatives at their final Pre-Departure Training session on Monday 11 May. L-R: Kameli Cakau, Isimeli Koroi, James O’Brien (First Secretary, Australian High Commission), Viliame Cagilaba (Director, National Employment Centre), Vilivo Cakau and Iniasi Toganivalu. (Photo: DFAT Suva)
The first Fijians to participate in Australia’s Seasonal Worker Program will depart for Australia next Tuesday, 19 May.
Fiji’s involvement in the Program has got off to a promising start. This first recruitment came only days after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in Suva between the Hon Jioji Konrote, Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, and Australia’s Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Hon Steven Ciobo.
The four seasonal workers have been recruited by the approved employer ‘Plant Grow Pick’ and will be placed in Emerald, Queensland, cultivating and harvesting table grapes.
An Australian Department of Employment official travelled to Suva to assist officials in Fiji’s Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations to deliver a comprehensive pre-deployment briefing to these first Fijian Seasonal Workers.
“In addition to the horticulture industry, the Seasonal Worker Program is also being trialled in the accommodation, aquaculture, cotton and cane sectors,” Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement announcing the Fiji-Australia MOU signing last month.
“I am confident Fiji will be a valuable partner under this program as we continue to strengthen our relationship,” Minister Bishop added.
Fiji joins nine other countries currently participating in the Seasonal Worker Program.