A total of 187 workers flew out of the country last week on Friday 7 May to work in various farms and abattoirs in Australia.
The first group of workers travelled on a chartered Qantas flight at midday whilst the second group travelled on the Solomon Airlines normal flight late in the evening.
They have been recruited through the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) and contracted under the Regional Workforce Management (RWM) and Powerpac, two of the larger Australian Approved Employers (AE) who are currently recruiting workers in Solomon Islands in large numbers.
The workers were quarantined at the Grantham Quarantine Facility within the Lockyer Valley region for 14 days upon arrival before moving to farms where they will be working for the next 2 and 3 years respectively.
These workers are a mix of those who have already been in the Work Ready Pool and a few of those just recruited through the WRP. This will be the fifth group of workers to leave Solomon Islands since the labour mobility scheme restarted in November last year.
With the recent mobilization, we now have 1053 workers in Australia with demand still growing significantly now that COVID-19 risk management initiatives are in place.
Solomon Islands is currently ranked in the top three countries with high number of seasonal workers in Australia and we are working towards reaching our projected target of 2000 workers for 2021 by December.
All seasonal workers go through the Solomon Islands Government recruitment process including fitness testing, interviews conducted in English, drug tests specific for RWM, Medical checks and Police clearance.
All the workers attended a mandatory two-day Pre-Departure Briefing and training program last week at the St. Banarbas Cathedral LeafHaus. The briefings include key information on worker contract & agreements, country information, health management, ambassadorial responsibilities, COVID 19 regulations and other important issues.