HORTICULTURE New Zealand hosted the annual RSE Conference in Christchurch from the 1st to the 2nd of August.
The 16th RSE Annual Conference brought together the Pacific and RSE employers to share learnings and discuss the future of the scheme. Speakers included Pacific representatives, government officials, RSE employers and workers.
Solomon Islands delegates to the RSE Conference were led by His Excellency Eliam Tangirongo (High Commissioner to New Zealand), and included Christina Maoma (Research Officer, LMU) Simon Kere (Marketing Officer, LMU), and June Rofeta Maenu’u (Second Secretary, Solomon Islands High Commission in New Zealand).
Delegates spoke at segments of the conference – specifically on strategy updates, cultural competency and at the closing panel for the conference.
For Solomon Islands, the conference was an opportunity for delegates to converse with employers, market its workers and establish a relationship with potential new employers. LMU and the High Commission of Solomon Islands in New Zealand aim to reinforce trust with employers, improve its processes, and ensure consistent engagement amongst all stakeholders.
The LMU Team were able to meet with a number of employers who are keen to expand their recruitment into Solomon Islands in the near future
Among the outcomes of the Conference, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea are priority focus for future RSE recruitment strategy with Labour Sending Units to review policy and ramp up RSE numbers.
Given that there are currently 2000 in the Labour Mobility Unit’s (LMU’s) work ready pool – and an additional 16,000 applications for both the NZ and Australian seasonal labour schemes this year alone – there is an urgent need to increase numbers in NZ’s RSE Scheme and is a priority for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & External Trade.
Following the conference, delegates visited Solomon Islanders working under the RSE Scheme in Nelson and Blenheim. Solomon Island workers visited were happy with their current employers, although there are minor issues that needs to be clarified to the workers.
The LMU team acknowledges the funding and support provided by New Zealand Government through the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment and NZ High Commission office in Honiara for facilitating all preparation work prior to the conference.
News Source: MFAET PRESS RELEASE