Who is Coming from Vanuatu to New Zealand Under the New Recognized Seasonal Employer Program?
40 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016
Date Written: August 1, 2008
New Zealand's new Recognized Seasonal Employer program allows workers from the Pacific Islands to come to New Zealand for up to seven months to work in the horticulture and viticulture industries. One of the explicit objectives of the program is to encourage economic development in the Pacific. This paper reports the results of a baseline survey taken in Vanuatu, which the authors use to examine who wants to participate in the program, and who is selected among those interested. The findings show that the main participants are males in their late 20s to early 40s, and most are married and have children. Most workers are subsistence farmers in Vanuatu and have not completed more than 10 years of schooling. Such workers would be unlikely to be accepted under existing migration channels. Nevertheless, the program workers from Vanuatu tend to come from wealthier households, and have better English literacy and health than individuals not applying for the program. Lack of knowledge about the policy and the costs of applying appear to be the main barriers preventing poorer individuals applying.
Keywords: Access to Finance, Health Monitoring & Evaluation, Labor Markets, Housing & Human Habitats, Work & Working Conditions
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