Manele highlights value of Labour Mobility to Solomon Islands

Manele highlights value of Labour Mobility to Solomon Islands


Prime Minister Jeremiah Manele has highlighted the value of Australia’s Pacific Labour Mobility scheme as an important source of revenue for Solomon Islands during his meeting with the visiting Australian Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles today (May21).

He said Solomon Islands have between 22,000 – 24,000 young people joining the local job-market every year. However, the job market can only provide between 3,000 – 4,000 jobs annually, which means between 18,000 – 20,000 youths join the unemployment group every year.

As a result of this shortage of local jobs, Prime Minister Manele said the Pacific Labour Mobility scheme provides a short-term solution for Solomon Islands.

Unlike other Pacific countries with the exception of PNG and Fiji, Solomon Islands does not have a problem with the number of young people going for short-term employment in Australia through the scheme.

“Currently it can accommodate up to 10,000 new recruits per year without problems in our own domestic labour market supply,” Manele said.

At present, Solomon Islands has approximately 6,800 PALM workers in Australia. However, based on the current trend, the Government envisioned that by 2028, Solomon Islands would have 16,000 PALM workers in Australia.

Based on the current trend in remittances, this number of workers will remit between $750 – $850 million SBD annually.

Manele also highlighted that Solomon Islands welcome the opportunity to increase its workers in the aged care sector while it also remains open to exploring the possibility of having locals obtaining correct qualifications to enter into the aged care area.

“We welcome the opportunity to discuss with Australia on how that can be achieved, and we are keen to explore opportunities for PALM workers demand, extend to the hospitality industry and the building & construction sector,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister also welcomed Australia’s Pacific Engagement visa (PEV) as an important initiative in the relations between Australia and the Pacific.

Currently Solomon Islands has no permanent migration arrangement with Australia or New Zealand. As such, the population of Solomon Islands diaspora in Australia is comparatively lower than other small Pacific Islands such as Samoa and Tonga.

The PEV is an opportunity for Solomon Islanders to migrate and build on the people-to-people connections with Australia.

“The new migration pathway to permanent residency will open new opportunities for Solomon Islanders to further enhance business engagement, education and access to high quality health services,” Manele said.

“We note the allocated number annually for Solomon Islands is 150 out of a total of 3000. We do hope this will gradually increase over time,” the Prime Minister added.

Solomon Islands look forward to scheme’s commencement next month.


– Government Communication Unit

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