Pacific labour mobility

Tonga joins Australia's Pacific Labour Scheme

The government said Tonga's entry into the scheme will provide more Tongans access to skills development opportunities, while also helping fill labour shortages in rural and regional Australia.

Tonga has participated in the Seasonal Worker Programme for a number of years, providing almost half of the 31,000 workers since 2012.

Tonga will now join Kiribati, Nauru, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu in the revamped Pacific Labour Scheme.

Workers can undertake non-seasonal work in rural and regional Australia for up to three years.

Australia adds to Pacific labour mobility

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull signed the deal at the Pacific Islands Forum in Samoa today.

The broadcaster, SBS, reported the announcement expands the current farming-based seasonal worker scheme to include industries like tourism and aged care.

Mr Turnbull said the plan would help the development of both Pacific Island states and regional Australian towns struggling to recruit workers.

Australia has also promised to fund new aerial surveillance missions over the Pacific to detect and disrupt illegal fishing.

$15 million boost for Pacific labour mobility

Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee and Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse say the RSE scheme is an innovative immigration policy that fulfils a labour need in New Zealand while giving Pacific workers the chance to earn an income and gain skills.

“Due to the scheme’s success, the Government has approved $10 million over an initial five-year period to explore what other sectors of the economy - where there is continued high demand for labour - RSE workers are well placed to make a contribution to,” Brownlee said.

Pacific labour mobility "untapped"

RNZI reports the Bank, along with the Australian National University, presented a document during this week's Pacific Update Conference in Suva.

'Pacific Possible: Labour Mobility' found 240,000 more Pacific Islanders could potentially migrate abroad by 2040.