Solomon Island: Slow pace of overseas employment opportunities to alleviate acute unemployment at home.
Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator Marise Payne has spent two days in the Solomon Islands this week when it was expected she would discuss Australia’s labour mobility Scheme (ALMS)
The ALMS is described on the Australian Government’s website as, quote:
“The Australian Government’s Pacific Labour Mobility Scheme, complements the Seasonal Worker Programme. It helps meet business needs across all sectors in rural and regional Australia.”
As a reminder, the same website refers to the Seasonal Workers Programme, quote:
“The Australian Government’s Seasonal Worker Programme assists employers in the agriculture and accommodation sectors to fill employment gaps unable to be met by the Australian workforce. It also contributes to the economic development of seasonal workers from nine participating Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste.”
While appreciative of the Seasonal Workers Programme and the ALMS, both schemes have fallen short of the need for Solomon Islanders to find jobs in Australia to-date and the pace of ALMS considered slow moving.
The CITREC programme with the promise of work In Canada has also, so far, resulted in relatively few work opportunities in Canada and the recruitment scheme extended to Malaita has, this week, been questioned with no evidence of local people having been engaged.
Unemployment in the Solomon Isands, particularly among young people, is very high and must be of increasing concern to the SIG with population figures ever increasing and the prospects of securing overseas work seemingly still limited.