Nineteen Fijian workers from Fiji currently employed with AGWORKS Limited in Napier, New Zealand under the Recognized Seasonal Employer (RSE) Work Scheme were visited by the Minister for Employment Productivity and Industrial Relations, Jone Usamate last week.
The Ministerial tour was to visit seasonal work employers and Fijian workers under the Scheme and to listen to their issues.
During the tour, Usamate met with the employer of Horticultural Contractors Managing Director for AGWORKS Limited, Inderjit Bedi and received commendation on the performance of Fijian workers currently deployed in his company.
Bedi also highlighted the need for better performance and attitude which would result in organizational growth and more employment opportunities for potential Fijian workers.
The employer also raised some challenges on worker attitude but these had been sorted out and workers are performing to expectation.
“New Fijian workers are coping well and are picking up the skills whilst the older workers are competing well with other workers from other countries,” said Bedi.
The employer added that the Horticulture in New Zealand will grow steadily since most dairy farmers are now converting their farms to vineyards and definitely he will recruit more workers from Fiji next year given that the current workers have performed well.
AGWORKS Limited was very appreciative with the commitment shown by the Employment Minister in visiting the seasonal workers as it will surely make an impact on the worker attitude and will help them to understand better the importance of maintaining their performance at an acceptable level.
The seasonal work scheme in New Zealand has an 11,000 quota for the Pacific Islands and since joining, Fiji had sent 827 workers.
The Minister thanked the employer for opting to recruit workers from Fiji and in addressing worker issues. He reiterated Government’s commitment in ensuring that Fijian workers performed their best for a win-win outcome both for the receiving and sending seasonal work countries.
The Ministry of Employment will continue to work in steadily increasing the number of workers recruited from Fiji.