Workers’ scheme ‘helps’ to provide financial independence


THE Australia-PNG Business Council says the seasonal workers scheme has been providing financial independence to the workers’ families.
In-country president of the PNG Chapter of the council Philip Franklin was responding to the view of Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga that the seasonal worker scheme has failed to offer benefit to the Pacific workers.
“The current scheme is important, but enhances a dependency mentality and does not offer enough benefit to the region,” Sopoaga said.
But Franklin said the scheme was beneficial to PNG as it enhanced the skills of the seasonal workers.
“It does not encourage dependence but more of independence giving participants income in foreign dollars to support their families and also learn new skills,” he said.
Franklin said the development impact of the scheme was that it improved the skills of workers and brought revenue to the country.
“It is accepted that the scheme could work better and both governments are working to increase PNG’s participation,” he said.
He told The National that the scheme was currently under review and its process of selection and approval were issues that needed addressing.
“The government of PNG should put more resources and specific key performance indicators and goals to address those issues,” Franklin said.

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