15 December, 2022
Gunnedah Shire has strengthened its partnership with its Sister City of Kolomotu’a, Tonga, and other Pacific Islands through a recent labour workshop.
Gunnedah Shire Council hosted a Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme workshop to introduce local employers to the Federal Government program.
“This workshop, which was open to employers looking to fill labour gaps with reliable workers from the Pacific Islands or Timor-Leste, is a great step towards meeting a number of needs,” Gunnedah Shire Mayor Jamie Chaffey said.
“Not only does it work towards addressing our labour shortage, but this scheme allows Pacific and Timor-Leste workers to find jobs in Australia so they can send income home to their families. They also often have the possibility of further training.
“We have a special Sister City Agreement with Kolomotu’a in the Kingdom of Tonga, and a tradition of employing Tongan nationals. Workshops like this one cement our relationship and open the doors for employers to learn more.
“This workshop also allowed businesses who already employ Pacific Island workers to share their knowledge and build support for Pacific Island workers within Gunnedah.”
The workshop was held by Pacific Labour Facility Regional Manager Fionnuala Dixon, who said that eligible businesses could recruit workers, through the PALM scheme, for seasonal jobs for up to nine months or for longer-term roles for between one and four years in unskilled, low-skilled and semi-skilled positions.
Cr Chaffey said a visit to Kolomotu’a by a Gunnedah delegation had shown just how important overseas jobs were to Tonga, where more than one-third of the country’s gross domestic product comes from money sent home by residents living and working overseas.
To find out more about the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme, visit https://www.palmscheme.gov.au/ or if you are interested in a further workshop, please email the Manager Economy and Growth at email@example.com
Caption: The workshop allowed businesses who already employ Pacific Island workers to share their knowledge and build support for Pacific Island workers within Gunnedah.
For more information, contact Gunnedah Shire Council’s Communications team on (02) 6740 2100.