First Tongan to work in Australia under Pacific Labour Scheme

Australia’s Pacific Labour Scheme programme will receive its first Tongan worker on Thursday, Mariska Koso, from ‘Anana.

Miss Koso met with the Australian High Commission’s Second Secretary, Leon Braun Wednesday, who congratulated her and wished her all the best.

 Mr Braun, who manages Australia’s labour mobility programmes in Tonga said, “This is an exciting moment for both our countries.

“The Pacific Labour Scheme opens up great opportunities for Tongans to earn income and learn new skills in Australia for up to three years, and is helping Australian employers in a variety of industries overcome regional labour shortages.”

Miss Koso worked in Tasmania last year for six months under the Seasonal Worker’s Programme. She is excited to return and work, as she enjoyed her time in Australia.

“This is an opportunity not just for me, but also for my family. Through this work, I can help my father and pay for my younger siblings’ education,” Miss Koso says.

She will work in Tasmania over the next three years in housekeeping and cooking.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs confirmed another 42 workers would leave Tonga next week to work under the PLS.

The Pacific Labour Scheme commenced on 1 July 2018 following a successful pilot programme in northern Australia and building on the success of the Seasonal Worker Programme. This new scheme will help meet business demand across all sectors in rural and regional Australia. The scheme is open to all industries, including but not limited to hospitality and tourism, aged care and disability care, non-seasonal agriculture, forestry and fishing. The scheme is managed in Tonga by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Employment Division.


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