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Fijians under NEC to be considered for workers scheme

February 13, 2019 4:53 pm
NFP Leader, Professor Biman Prasad [left] and Parven Bala [Source: Fijian Government]

The Employment Minister has plans in place for those listed under the National Employment Centre to be part of the Seasonal workers’ scheme for both Australia and New Zealand.

Minister, Parven Bala revealed this in parliament saying this will provide an opportunity for youths in the peri-urban and urban areas to have employment.

However, Bala says so far this year, two people have been deployed to New Zealand under the seasonal worker scheme and 15 to Australia.

Bala says since 2015, a total of 1, 694 Fijians have been deployed to both countries with 946 in New Zealand and 748 to Australia.

He says there have been a lot of success stories from returning workers.

“Some of the workers’ savings was invested in yaqona farming, home extension, setting up of canteen business, and contribution to village development and village halls.”

NFP Leader, Professor Biman Prasad then questioned Bala if there is still a ban on four villages.

“I remember in 2017, the then Employment Minister, revealed to parliament that there was a ban to four villages, in terms of recruitment of some of the workers, because some workers from those villages and settlements, didn’t follow the regulations while they were in Australia and NZ, I am wondering if that ban was still in place and whether the ban might be discriminatory, in the sense that you don’t penalize the whole village or settlement because someone misbehaved.”

Bala says there is no current ban and they have included elders to monitor the selection process.