PIDC Hosts Labour Mobility Workshop for Immigration Officers - October 2017
The Pacific Immigration Directors' Conference (PIDC) in recognising the importance of labour mobility in the Pacific Islands and in seeking to determine how to best contribute as an organisation to regional efforts strengthening the links between labour mobility and economic growth hosted a regional workshop with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) in Fiji from 2-4 October 2017. The workshop specifically targeting immigration officers was attended by twenty-three participants from the PIDC Membership *(Australia , Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia; Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tuvalu and Vanuatu) including partner organisations from Immigration New Zealand’s Seasonal Workers Scheme Section and the Australian governments Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Participants included senior public officials such as the Director of Immigration for the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Director of Immigration for the Federated States of Micronesia and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Director of Policy. The forum provided PIDC Members with an opportunity to enhance their understanding of the national and regional importance of Labour Mobility and its role in sustainable development for Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs). More importantly, the forum discussed immigrations role in labour mobility and how it continues to support labour mobility policies and schemes.
In support of these activities and in recognition of vulnerabilities faced by Smaller Island States (SIS), the Immigration officials also held a side event meeting chaired by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat to advance the regional agenda set by SIS Leaders in September 2017.
The Workshop acknowledged immigration’s important role in facilitating effective labour mobility schemes as the national agency responsible for managing cross-border migration. In addition, participants developed a number of recommendations that would be used as a basis to guide future PIDC interventions at the national and regional levels.
A key part of discussions was a review of a draft PIDC publication on Labour Mobility in the Pacific Region which: (a) provided an overview of labour mobility schemes that PICTs are presently participating in; (b) examined the roles that PIDC immigration agencies currently play in labour mobility schemes; (c) assessed how these agencies may be impacted by future expansion of regional labour mobility opportunities. As a result of these discussions, participants then developed recommendations on how PIDC can best support its Members to facilitate their engagement in offshore labour mobility
Some key recommendations for future work included keeping PIDC Members engaged and supporting national labour mobility schemes, develop an online presence to support international information sharing and sought to actively develop national immigration labour mobility expertise to support national policy development. Participants also encouraged the PIDC Secretariat to implement further consultative forums for immigration officers.