By JEFFREY ELAPA
FOREIGN Affairs, Trade and Immigrations Minister Sam Abal said Papua New Guineans who will be participating in the Pacific seasonal workers pilot scheme must be good ambassadors at all times.
Abal said this when revealing the government’s commitment and approval of the memorandum of understanding and the facilitation arrangement last week.
He said the pilot project was critical to establish a robust people to people relation and they must win the hearts and minds of approved Australian farmers to enable the programme to grow and be sustainable in the long term.
He said the Australian farmer might have very little knowledge and information about PNG workers skills and productivity levels since this would be the first time for PNG.
He added that Pacific Islanders had participated in similar schemes in both Australia and New Zealand.
Abal said the government would be engaging suitable qualified public relations and marketing specialists and or entities to develop market strategies, programmes and contents for targeted farmers in Australia for greater percentage of the available seasonal worker visa permit quota for Papua New Guinean workers “as we will be competing with other experienced workers” from the region.
He said other participating countries had significant advantage over PNG because they had established worker hire, recruitment, pre-departure content, sending, receiving, pastoral care, fund remittances and entrepreneur scheme at home.