Workers’ scheme deployment depends on employers: Bala

Fiji’s Minister for Employment Praveen Bala has said that the overseas workers scheme including Australia’s Pacific Labour Mobility Scheme is demand-driven, in response to queries made to his office inquiring over what applicants feel are delays in their deployment.

Speaking at an event in Suva to farewell the latest group of workers under the PALM scheme Mr. Bala said the two programs including the seasonal workers’ scheme “is employer-driven.”

“It is not us,” he said.

“And we will wait for them for [their] demand for the workers’ number and then…once the employers request for the workers, the National Employment Centre will identify these workers for the employers. There is a misunderstanding amongst our people that we decide, that the ministry decides. I want to make it very clear this time. Good things come to those who wait.”

Mr Bala says there are procedures to follow, and interested applicants only need to apply.

Under the PALM scheme, Fijians can be recruited to fill positions for seasonal (short-term) of up to nine months or longer-term placements of between one and four years. Since November last year, the number of Fijians who have left for the overseas work scheme has surpassed 3000, including 108 in the latest deployment.

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