Samoa is ready to send workers to New Zealand and Australia as soon as a request is made.
According to the Assistant Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Commerce Industry and Labour, Lemalu Nele Leilua, the Prime Minister and Cabinet are eager to see some of the nearly 3000 workers waiting to be deployed, leave for employment opportunities overseas.
Lemalu is hopeful that a group of workers will head off, most likely to Australia before Christmas.
She told the Samoa Observer, “We would like to see them go right now, starting next week,” adding that she gets calls from the workers and their families asking when they can go back.
About 2000 Samoans are in a Work-ready pool, that is they have applied and passed the screening process. About 1400 are male and the remainder are women looking at aged-care or caregiving work.
Some of the employees have requested carpentry and meat works as well as more traditional fruit picking and pruning work.
In addition, about 1100 returned seasonal workers from New Zealand want to return for another season.
Lemalu said the New Zealand Government has not officially asked for workers yet but industry representatives have written to MCIL pleading for help.