Pacific businesses are desperate for staff because thousands of their workers are heading to New Zealand and Australia, industry officials say. The seasonal work schemes in both countries have been singled out as a driving force behind the labor crisis in the Pacific. With Aotearoa and Australia expanding their programs, departures reached record levels last year.
In 2022, there were 19,000 workers in New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme;– an increase of 19% from 2021. Aotearoa’s expanded scheme will recruit an extra 3000 seasonal workers to relieve a labor shortage in the horticultural sector. More than 6000 workers left Samoa in 2022, data analysed by the Development Policy Centre revealed.