What Can Papua New Guinea Do to Lift Its Numbers in the Seasonal Worker Programs of Australia and New Zealand?
27 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2018
Date Written: September 26, 2018
Why is it that Papua New Guinea, a country of nearly nine million people – 3.2 million of whom are aged 20 to 45 years of age, have so few workers able to access high-paying jobs in its near neighbours? In relation to opportunities for low-skilled, temporary work, Papua New Guinea in 2017-18 was only able to gain one per cent of the seasonal jobs available in Australia and New Zealand to workers from the Pacific and Timor-Leste. The actual number of PNG workers in seasonal work in Australia in 2017-18 was only 92, and in New Zealand was only 132 in the same year.
How can Papua New Guinea, with support from Australia and New Zealand, improve its prospects of gaining more seasonal work? Why is it that two small countries, Tonga and Vanuatu, have gained more jobs than any of the other eligible countries? What lessons can be drawn from the success of the two leading countries? How have other countries such as Fiji, Solomon Islands and Timor-Lest sought to win a greater share of the seasonal work? This paper explores these questions, and concludes by recommending a strategy for Papua New Guinea to improve its prospects of gaining more temporary low-skilled work in Australia and New Zealand.
Keywords: Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Seasonal Work, Labour Mobility, Seasonal Worker Programme, Recognised Seasonal Employer
JEL Classification: J22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation