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Seasonal Workers Scheme Progress

November 15, 2014 4:49 am

The Expanded Seasonal Workers Scheme to Australia is set to get off the ground from next year, however Fijians will be leaving first for New Zealand with arrangements now finalized.

The Ministry of Labour’s Permanent Secretary Taito Waqa says Australia waited for the New Zealand arrangements to be put in place first before inviting Fiji to the fold.

He says their systems and processes have been updated and now final negotiations are progressing with Australian authorities.

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“We will be meeting with the respective agencies in Australia, in this case the Federal Government and the various farmers they’ve identified to participate in the seasonal program, we will be, the MOU as we speak is being developed, Foreign Affairs is facilitating that including us to finalize that before cabinet approves.”

A pilot of 30 workers is expected to depart Fiji for New Zealand in the first quarter of 2015.

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