Seasonal workers at the Honiara International Airport. Photo credit: GCU.

                                                 Seasonal workers at the Honiara International Airport. Photo credit: GCU.

More than 80 locals have left for Australia and New Zealand yesterday to work under the Seasonal Workers Program for the next six months.

The Solomon Islands Government urged them to represent their country with pride and dignity in their host countries.

A Government statement said out of a total 84 workers, 29 will be traveling to seven fields in Darwin, Australia, while the other 55 will work in various farms around New Zealand, engaging mostly in fruit picking.

The workers were selected by approved agents from the two countries with support from the Labour Mobility Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade which shows a significant increase this year.

Meanwhile, the statement said the increase in numbers of Solomon Islands seasonal workers to Australia is due to improvements made with the recruitment process, understanding the market intelligence including identifying specific needs of employers, responding to the needs and building a cohesive relationship with Australian Employers.

Prior to their departure, the workers received pre-departure training from the Labor Mobility Unit and other stakeholders including the AVI, the Ministry of Health, Police and Bank officials.

The workers were encouraged to perform well and to respect the laws and cultures of their host countries during their stay.

The pre-departure training is part of the Labour Mobility Unit’s work in educating seasonal local workers on financial issues and how to live and work in Australia and New Zealand.

Solomon Islands is expected to send more than 300 workers to New Zealand before the year ends.

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