Senior Government officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, the Divisions of Labour and Immigration and the Attorney General's Chambers have formalized a Cabinet approved recruitment mechanism for the Overseas Labour Mobility Scheme.

The formalization was made at the first meeting of the National Labour Mobility Oversight Committee (LMOC), which took place last week at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade.

The LMOC is a body responsible for overseeing the National Recruitment Policy for the labour mobility schemes

The meeting last week was held to discuss recommendations put forward by the Labour Mobility National Coordinator (LMNC), Mr. Hence Vaekesa.

The meeting was also to formalize details of the recruitment mechanism which was endorsed by the Cabinet in July.

Speaking after the meeting, Chairman Hence Vaekesa said "the meeting was held to attend to the details of the structure that the Cabinet has laid down. Now that the LMOC has made detailed recommendations, the next stage is implementation."

The Officials decided that a Labour Mobility Unit would be established within the Department of External Trade to regulate the recruitment process within Solomon Islands. The Unit will not recruit workers directly, but will grant licenses to agents who wish to recruit workers to send to New Zealand.

"The rules of the RSE scheme laid down by the New Zealand Government are very strict," Mr Vaekesa said. "We have to make sure that recruitment agents understand them and abide by them. If we fail, then the RSE employers will turn to other Pacific Island Countries and our citizens will miss out on this opportunity."

The Government hopes to be able to accept applications from agents who are seeking licenses to recruit under the RSE within the next two weeks.

The Labour Mobility Unit will shortly be inviting applications from companies interested in acting as a recruitment agency under the RSE scheme with New Zealand.

Application forms will soon be available from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade.

Agents will then be required to sign a legal contract promising to abide by the rules of the scheme.