Minister seeks offshore workers for tourism industry
MINISTER HAD DISCUSSIONS WITH EMPLOYERS IN AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND FOR CASUAL AND PART-TIME WORKERS
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.
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.
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.