More Solomon Islanders are to be given job opportunities overseas after the latest visit by Pick Hawke’s Bay, one of the largest suppliers of seasonal workers to New Zealand last week.
The team from Pick Hawke’s Bay met with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade to update them on their latest recruitment drive in the Solomon Islands last week.
Pick Hawke’s Bay General Manager, Vikki Garrett said last season the company had the best group of Solomon Islands workers they have had and are thankful for the opportunity to recruit here.
Ms Garret said this year 62 people will go over to New Zealand to work. The first group of 42 workers will leave in October and another 20 at the end of November.
Ms Garret has a long relationship with the Solomon Islands, being the first employer from New Zealand to bring out Solomon Islanders when she was with Bostock New Zealand some 16 years ago.
“My commitment to the Solomon Islands has always been strong, I bring out both men and women to work and I have also done recruitment in the provinces,” She said.
She stressed that her satisfaction from bringing out the RSE workers are the rewards of what they do with the money earned in New Zealand.
“They sacrifice their lives and families to come out to New Zealand and leave behind husbands, wives and their families. Over the years they have become an extended family.
Pick Hawke’s Bay is looking at the possibility of increasing the number of Solomon Islanders recruited in the near future.
The number of Solomon Islands workers returning to work in New Zealand post Covid-19 has risen to what it was pre-2020 with recent statistics by the Labour Mobility Unit putting the number of work visas issued to workers at 742.
The Solomon Islands Government has always reiterated the availability of Solomon island workers to fill in shortages experienced by RSE employers. This as other Pacific Island countries continue to review their place in both the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) and RSE schemes’.
The Solomon Islands has an ambitious policy position to increase participation in those schemes and has recently welcomed New Zealand’s review of the RSE scheme which the Solomon Islands government is hoping would bring improvement for workers and employers involved.