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During the comms trip to Tanna, Holly Miller, AA Australia, facilitated a planning session on Thursday 8th February with Women I Tok Tok Tugeta (WITTT) to establish a six-‐month action plan.
One of the key concerns that WITTT brought up was the discrimination from RSE agents based in Tanna who do not want women to work overseas and only employ men and family members. WITTT’s interest in seasonal work is to save money for school fees. WITTT members asked ActionAid if they could identify an RSE agent who supports women to participate in seasonal work.
AA Vanuatu team based in Port Vila has agreed to identify potential RSE agent who support women’s participation in seasonal work. Information will be provided to WITTT by March.
What is the Regional Seasonal Employer (RSE) Scheme?
The Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme came into effect in April 2007. The policy allows the horticulture and viticulture industries to recruit workers from overseas for seasonal work when there are not enough New Zealand workers.
Workers must meet health and character requirements and provide evidence of arrangements to leave New Zealand at the end of their stay.
People employed under the RSE policy may stay in New Zealand for up to seven months during any 11-‐month period. Exceptions to this are workers from Tuvalu and Kiribati, who can stay for nine months because of the distance from New Zealand and the cost of travel.
What is the Seasonal Workers Program (SWP)?
Vanuatu participates in the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP). Under the SWP, workers from Pacific countries are recruited to work in Australia in horticulture and other sectors to meet seasonal harvest needs. Ni-‐Vanuatu are currently the second largest cohort of SWP workers from the Pacific.
In 2017, 393 women participated and 1756 men did.
How long can you go away for?
In New Zealand and Australia, you can stay up to 3 – 7 months.
How much money can you expect to make?
It depends on the type of vegetation you pick and how long you are gone for. It is believed that the average worker brings in $10, 000. Some people can earn up to $18 000 if they stay for 7 months.