Min­is­ter seeks off­shore work­ers for tourism in­dus­try

MIN­IS­TER HAD DIS­CUS­SIONS WITH EM­PLOY­ERS IN AUS­TRALIA, NEW ZEALAND FOR CA­SUAL AND PART-TIME WORK­ERS

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - SHRATIKA NAIDU and JOSAIA RALAGO Feed­back: josaia.ralago@fi­jisun.com.fj Edited by Ru­si­ate Mataika

The Min­istry of Em­ploy­ment, Pro­duc­tiv­ity and In­dus­trial Re­la­tions is work­ing on ways to pro­vide jobs for off-sea­son Fi­jian em­ploy­ees to work over­seas. A pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion in Labasa was told that em­ploy­ees such as those in­volved in the tourism and hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try would be able to as­sist these coun­tries in the tourism in­dus­try. Min­is­ter for Em­ploy­ment, Pro­duc­tiv­ity and In­dus­trial Re­la­tions Semi Koroilavesau said: “I have had dis­cus­sions with the em­ploy­ers in Aus­tralia and New Zealand about ca­sual and part time work­ers avail­able to work af­ter our peak sea­son. “These work­ers can as­sist these coun­tries in their tourism in­dus­try.

“I see this as an op­por­tu­nity for us to mar­ket Fiji as a tourist des­ti­na­tion. The min­istry is also hav­ing nu­mer­ous dis­cus­sions with the Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion Ma­hen­dra Reddy to de­velop set skills to pre­pare work­ers when they travel over­seas for work. “There is a lot of de­mand for trades­men to work in Aus­tralia and New Zealand,” Mr Koroilavesau said.

Re­cruit­ment

Govern­ment yes­ter­day en­listed 15 peo­ple to be a part of the sea­sonal work­ers scheme from the Udu district in Macuata. The Govern­ment team led by Mr Koroilavesau to the Vu­nikodi vil­lage Hall in Udu en­rolled three men from each of the five villages in the district.

The five villages are Cawaro, Nukusa, Nuku­damu, Nabouono and Vu­nikodi. While ad­dress­ing the peo­ple of Udu present at the con­sul­ta­tion in iTaukei, Mr Koroilavesau said this was a part of Govern­ment’s ini­tia­tive to pro­vide work for the un­em­ployed in­di­vid­u­als in the Iso­lated Ru­ral Ar­eas (IRA). Mr Koroilavesau said they were tak­ing a dif­fer­ent ap­proach by com­ing through the vanua to em­ploy work­ers be­cause they felt peo­ple would be more obliged to con­form to mes­sages passed from their chiefs.

He said the first lot would have the chance to ex­pe­ri­ence the work con­di­tions of­fered in these for­eign coun­tries be­fore more peo­ple are re­cruited from these villages. Mr Koroilavesau said this was a way for the peo­ple to con­trib­ute to their com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ments and to fund their liveli­hood. The mata-ni-tik­ina ko Udu Maikeli Sauwaqa said they were grate­ful to the Govern­ment for such op­por­tu­ni­ties es­pe­cially when they are so iso­lated from ur­ban ar­eas. “For us here in Udu, fish­ing has al­ways been our main source of in­come and we are thank­ful to the Govern­ment for giv­ing chances like this for our peo­ple,” Mr Sauwaqa said.

Photo: Josaia Ralago

The Min­is­ter for Labour, Pro­duc­tiv­i­tiy and In­dus­trial Re­la­tions Semi Koroilavesau (front, fourth from left), with mem­bers of his team and the peo­ple of Udu at the Vu­nikodi Vil­lage Hall in Macuata yes­ter­day.

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