Unit changes recruitment policy for seasonal workers


THE PNG Labour Mobility Unit (PNGLMU) is focused on sending groups of seasonal workers from the same region as a new approach, an official says.
PNGLMU senior adviser Dr Chakriya Bowman told The National that the new approach was being introduced to help them manage the workers.
She said the first six workers that were scheduled to depart tomorrow were all from the Southern Highlands.
Bowman said four of the six were returning to work while the other two were new and being together would help in coordinating their travel arrangements.
She said due to the Covid-19, the number of workers were being limited and those on the programme were required to do an additional number of quarantine days.
“They are limiting the number of workers for PNG but we are doing our own quarantine and testing before they depart for Australia,” she said.
“We are mobilising some more workers who will leave after the first six depart on Friday,” she said.
Bowman said the last workers were sent last March and since then travel was stopped due to the Covid-19.
She said it was difficult as it took about four to five months to mobilise the workers but they had managed.
The six travelling from PNG have completed seven days of pre-quarantine protocol.
Bowman said they had been tested twice to make sure they were sending Covid-free workers to Australia.
She said the process was slower than the normal time to mobilise the workers but they were confident that time would be reduced.
She said there was higher demand for workers from PNG and they would have to consider charter flights soon.
Regarding questions on workers to New Zealand, Bowman said their government had reduced the numbers from about 10,000 to 2,000 so PNG had missed out.
However, she said New Zealand were slowly increasing recruitment.

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