Through discussion of new investments and engagement, and presentation of new and long-term research, this session will explore opportunities and challenges for enhancing labour mobility in the Pacific. Through three new Australian-funded initiatives: the Pacific Labour Facility (PLF), the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) and the Australia-Pacific Training Coalition (APTC3), Australia is increasing its support for Pacific labour mobility. This session will provide introductions to those investments and hear findings of current research with direct implications for their implementation and possible outcomes. In particular, the findings of an exercise to map the origins of ni-Vanuatu workers participating in both the Australian Seasonal Worker Program and New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme (RSE) will be presented, as will research on different models governing labour mobility in labour sending countries. An update on a 10-year longitudinal study of the social and economic impacts of participation in the RSE scheme will also be presented.
Speakers: Rochelle Bailey (Chair), Research Fellow, Department of Pacific Affairs, ANU
Jane Bastin-Sikimeti, Director, Pacific Labour Mobility, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Stephen Howes, Director of the Development Policy Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU
Julie Rereman, Employment Service Unit, Department of Labour and Employment Service Unit, Vanuatu