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In a major milestone for Solomon Islands, meat workers have been recruited as part of the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) for the first time.
Australian employer Labour Solutions Australia (LSA) recruited the workers during their June visit to Solomon Islands.
The group of 14 workers will work at an abattoir in the town of Scone, New South Wales.
The group are in the final stages of preparations and will work for LSA for three years.
As part of their preparations, all workers participated in a pre-departure training.
The training provided workers with detailed information about their contractual benefits and obligations, and general information about Australian culture, laws and customs.
At the close of the training on 11 July 2019, Australian High Commission representative, Lou Ellerton, congratulated the workers.
“This a historic moment for Solomon Islands – you are the first group of non-agricultural workers to be selected,” Ellerton said.
“This is big opportunity – future groups depend on everyone doing an excellent job. There are lots of jobs in Australian abattoirs and we want Solomon Islands to have the best reputation as meat workers. Future growth depends on you.”
Ellerton reminded the workers about the Labour Mobility Unit’s (LMU) zero tolerance policy on alcohol consumption.
The group will travel to Scone in coming weeks and will receive an induction from the Pacific Labour Facility (PLF) before commencing work.
Increasing Solomon Islands participation in the Australian labour market is a shared priority for both governments.
The PLS commenced on 1 July 2018 and enables citizens from selected Pacific countries to take up low and semi-skilled work in rural and regional Australia for up to three years.
The Solomon Islands joined the scheme in September 2018.
The Scheme is focused on sectors with projected employment growth in Australia and contains protections to safeguard against worker exploitation.
People should be aware of labour mobility scams. No one should pay money to individuals promising work.
Anyone who is approached by someone claiming to facilitate work in Australia in exchange for money should contact the LMU, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade immediately and report the incident.
SOURCE: SOLOMON STAR/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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