The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade is currently conducting a 2 days Pre- departure Briefing for 66 Workers who will be travelling to Australia towards the end of September and early October 2022 under the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme. The 2 days briefing is on Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd September 2022. The Labour Mobility Unit (LMU) in the Ministry is organising the briefing.
Speaking during the opening of the pre-departure briefing, the Supervising Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Mr Cornelius Walegerea reminded the workers to be good Ambassadors.
“Be good Ambassadors while you work in Australia. Strengthen and maintain the cordial and friendly relations with other fellow wantoks, other Pacific Islanders working under the same programme and your host”, stated Mr Walegerea.
He further added, “Our workers are known to be hardworking, reliable, honest, trustworthy and courteous. Please maintain that status so that employers can look towards us and recruit more workers. The Supervising Permanent Secretary stressed to the workers, “other Solomon Islanders who are in the work ready pool and are waiting to be called are banking on your support to help them. If you maintain the good reputation, those in the work ready pool will be selected. If you let them down, you let all of us down so I am urging you all to be good Ambassadors”.
An area of concern raised during the briefing was driving under the influence of alcohol. The Supervising Permanent Secretary warned that there is a zero -tolerance policy on alcohol and if anyone caught drink driving, they will face severe consequences both under the Australian law and their contracts will be at stake.
The Pre departure Briefing is an important part in the Recruitment process whereby workers undergo briefing sessions to understand what is expected of them working under the labour seasonal programs, Solomon Islands policies that they are expected to abide by, fair knowledge of their new home Australia and also to remind them to work hard to achieve their goals. Workers are also encouraged to use this opportunity to ask any questions that they may have.
Out of the total 66 workers, 51 will be working in Meat Industries in Victoria and Queensland while 15 will be working on a farm in Tasmania.
The briefing on Wednesday was opened by Mr Cornelius Walegerea, Supervising Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & External Trade and Ms Christine Skoumbourdis, Second Secretary Australia High Commission.