Minister for Employment Agni Deo Singh believes there is a need to pay attention to literacy to tackle challenges faced by Fijian workers in the Pacific Labour Mobility Scheme.
Singh highlighted the importance of clear communication regarding literacy, emphasizing its importance during contract signing to ensure that Fijian workers fully understand the terms and conditions of their contract.
Singh stressed the importance of ensuring workers fully understand their contract terms before departing for Australia.
Acknowledging the challenges at specific employment locations, he highlighted the advantage of Fijians’ English proficiency, which makes them highly sought-after in the labour market.
“That issue is also very much under the radar, and as far as communications is concerned, I think we Fijians are fortunate, that is why we are more sort out because of our ability to speak English, is much better than most of the labour sending countries.
The Employment Minister says they are dedicated to enhancing workers’ experiences, ensuring clear communication, and promoting better working conditions for Fijian labourers in Australia.
Falakiko Kiutau, the PALM Connections Coordinator, echoed similar sentiments on literacy struggles among workers under the PALM Scheme program.
Kiutau further discussed hygiene problems, citing an employer’s outreach seeking assistance in conveying a message to workers about improving general hygiene and accommodation cleanliness.
He says the PALM team, accompanied by a community representative, successfully conveyed expectations to workers, resulting in positive feedback from an approved employer.