Acting Commissioner of Labour, John Tasso, wishes to confirm an increase in the numbers of RSE workers (New Zealand) and SWP workers (Australia) during the last financial year.
The number of RSE workers in 2015/16 was 3,703 compared to 4,155 for the same period in 2016/2017.
The Acting Commissioner of Labour says this reflects an increase of 453 new workers.
Regarding SWP workers in Australia, he says 1,198 workers were recorded for the period of 2015/2016 compared to the same period of 2016/2017, which has recorded 2,150 or an increase of 952 workers.
“This is a major increase inspite of recent challenges especially the tragic accident that took the lives of three Vanuatu SWP workers”, he says adding however that the success of the scheme outweighs the challenges.
The Acting Commissioner wishes to congratulate the workers in both schemes stressing that they are the most effective marketing tool for Vanuatu. “They have worked hard and behaved well which has convinced employers in both New Zealand and Australia to increase their numbers of workers from Vanuatu”, says the Acting Commissione.
On another note the Acting Commissioners wishes to inform the public that any persons wishing to apply to become an agent in 2018 can collect the forms at the Employment Service Unit, Labour Department.
Application closes on December 31st 2017.
In the latest development, the Acting Commissioner of Labour could not be reached for comment on a Vila Times article under the heading, "Vanuatu may close Seasonal Workers Program after ni-Vanuatu deaths in Australia" dated December 13, 2017.
Julie Rereman of the Department of Labour and Employment Services Unit has expressed shock yesterday when alerted to the article saying as far as she is aware, the Acting Commissioner has not been contacted for his views before publication.