FOREIGN Affairs Minister Milner Tozaka has confirmed Solomon Islands Government’s interest to engage in Labour Mobility opportunities with Canada.
And to further strengthen relationship between Government and people of both countries, the Mr Tozaka said that plans are underway for the Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare to make a historical visit to Canada and hold discussions on a number of important bilateral issues including labour mobility arrangements, clean energy and to also seek export opportunities for the people of Solomon Islands.
These commitments were expressed by Minister Tozaka during his meeting in Honiara last week with the visiting Chairman of Canadian International Training & Education (CITREC) and Solomon Islands Honorary Consul General Mr. Ashwant Dwivedi.
“We consider Canada as a strong partner and we strongly believe that there are opportunities in Canada that our government can take advantage of not limited to labour mobility,” the minister said.
CITREC which is Canada’s leader in education and training in partnership with the Canadian Governments Sector Council is presently offering Canadian education and training to the Guadalcanal Provincial Government.
In October of last year, Guadalcanal Province signed a labour mobility agreement with Canada’s Saskatchewan Province Tourism Association which will see graduates of CITREC program being employed in the Province.
The Central government has expressed its serious commitment to enter into similar arrangements with CITREC allowing them to open this program for all Solomon Islanders.
Chairman Dwivedi in his capacity as Solomon Islands Honorary Consul General to Canada also shared with Foreign Minister Tozaka Canadian Governments communication with his office which has welcomed the recent partnership agreement between Guadalcanal Province and Canada.
“Canada has significant job opportunity which Solomon Islanders can be engaged into as temporary foreign workers. There is no doubt Hon. Minister that almost 80 per cent of Solomon Islands youth population is unemployed and this is an opportunity which can with proper training and education help see Solomon Islands nationals being employed by a Canadian employer,” Chairman Dwivedi said.
The Canadian government has also asked Solomon Islands Government to consider that apart from sending Tourism and Hospitality workers to Saskatchewan the Agriculture stream of the temporary foreign worker program would also be appropriate for Solomon Islands nationals to work on Saskatchewan farms. Canada has not set any limit to number of workers Solomon Islands can send for employment purpose provided they meet Canadian training offered by CITREC.
Canadian Government records indicate that in 2014 a total of 278,980 foreign workers were employed as Seasonal Workers in Canada.
In 2012 a financial report showed that CAD$24 billion dollars were remitted by seasonal workers from Canada to their country.
Major countries that benefited were India, China, Philippines and several other countries.
On Thursday last week Chairman Dwivedi met Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare who welcomed the opportunity with Canada saying that as members of the commonwealth both countries share strong partnership and he further looks forward to his propose visit to Canada.
Meanwhile during their discussion Consul Dwivedi also informed the Prime Minister of Canada’s growing commitment to climate change.
“Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has recently announced that Canada will contribute $2.65 billion over the next five years to help developing countries tackle climate change and as such PM Trudeau and Canadians are committed to ambitious action on climate change, and is focused on the economic opportunities of our environment and creating the clean jobs of tomorrow,” Consul General Dwivedi said.
Prime Minister Sogavare welcomed Canadian Prime Ministers commitment towards climate change saying he looks forward to using the opportunity to discuss issues of environment and clean energy with his Canadian counterpart when he visits Canada.