PS Collin Beck and HE Dr Lachlan Strahan in a photo shoot with the workers at the Pre-Departure Briefing, St. Barnabas Leafhut.

A total of 178 workers flew out of the country on Tuesday on two separate chartered flights to work in various Meat processing plants in New South Wales, Australia. The first group of workers left on the early hours of Tuesday morning while the other group departed in the afternoon.

They will be quarantined at Sydney for 14 days before going to their respective farms where they will be working for the next 3 years. These workers are a mix of a majority of those who have already been in the Work Ready Pool and a few of those just recruited now for the first time. They have been recruited under Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) and contracted under the Regional Workforce Management (RWM), one of the biggest labour hire companies across Australia.

This will be the fourth group of workers to leave Solomon Islands since the labour mobility restart in November last year. There are currently 730 workers in Australia with demand growing significantly now that COVID-19 risk management initiatives are in place. All seasonal workers go through the Solomon Islands Government recruitment process including fitness testing, interviews conducted in English, drug tests, 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.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & External Trade, Mr Collin Beck, was one of the keynote speakers at the briefing. PS Beck said that the Pacific Labour Scheme is aimed at creating employment opportunities and generating income for unemployed people, building people to people links and opportunities to develop new and innovative business opportunities between the two countries.

He further indicated that the Solomon Islands government is really committed to increase the numbers of our workers compared to past years.

He also strongly reiterated the Zero Tolerance on Alcohol consumption, the consequences of Absconding and the importance of Labour Mobility Unit’s Here To Work values.

“I strongly advise all workers to refrain from consuming alcohol and encourage you all to be good ambassadors of your country. Please be reminded that you are there to work whilst at the same time you are also promoting Solomon Islands under the Here To Work brand. Make good use of this opportunity to earn and save money and help your families when you return home. Your success is a success to the country and an investment to the program”.

PS Beck also stated that absconding is not an option available to workers and there are significant negative impacts from such actions.

“Let me also remind you that if you have any intentions of leaving your designated place of work to work in another location then you will be breaching your visa conditions and you will be working illegally in Australia.

“The Ministry through the LMU does not tolerate absconders and those who have absconded or overstayed and are working illegally in Australia will be permanently blacklisted from the labour mobility programs”.

In his final remarks Mr Beck encouraged the workers to respect their place of work and build a strong relationship with their employers.

The other keynote speaker during the briefing was the Australian High Commissioner HE Dr Lachlan Strahan. In his welcoming remarks he acknowledges the LMU and SISS team and assured his counterpart Mr Beck that the Australian government is committed to actively and continuously support the ministry’s ambitious goal to reach the target of 5000 workers by 2023.

Dr Strahan further explained to the workers that his government appreciates the help they will provide to the farms and how this will have a positive impact to the industries in Australia. “This is not only for Australia but it will be a win-win for both countries”.

In encouraging the workers, he further reiterated what PS Beck said. “I encourage you all to observe the laws and cultures in Australia and do not drink and drive.

In his closing remarks Dr Lachlan once again encourage the workers to enjoy their time while in Australia and make the most of this opportunity to help their families.  


For Media Queries Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Access Information on Labour Mobility Unit