Based on the labor force survey conducted in 2010, it was indicated that Timor Leste has a very high unemployment rate at nearly 50% figure within inside the country.
One way of reducing the level of unemployment is through skill capacity building in order to be able to respond to the workplace job market demands. But in reality there are less job opportunity available in the country and the most conspicuously dominant industry within the country is the civil construction. Therefore the Timor Leste Government through SEPFOPE (Secretary State political for professional training and employment policy) have had already devised a more concrete policy plan to respond to this ever rising problems.
Since 2008, SEPFOPE have had already approached and entered into negotiation with Australian government to somehow devise a plan to send Timorese worker to Australia and finally on the 1st of December 2011, Australia and Timor Leste started to enter into an accord agreement to outset this whole process.
This program agreement is called “pacific Seasonal worker program” where the program is not only exposed to Timor Leste but also it included all others pacific island nations such as Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa and etc. The industry area designated specifically for these workers to undertake the job oferred is in the area of Hospitality, Horticulture, Aquaculture, cotton and sugarcane industry.
Based on the agreement established on the 1st of December 2011, Timor Leste firstly begun sending 12 Timorese workers by the 1st of March 2012 to undertake their first designated job in the area of hospitality in Broome of Western Australia state. And following to that in 2013, SEPFOPE is highly very optimistic that there will be more than 100 Timorese workers will be sent over to Australia, given that the working process condition for Australia and South korea is very different from one to another. In South korea, the government highly encourages the local south Korean businesses firm and engages them directly to invite the Timorese worker to come and work for them whereas in Australia the attached Timorese worker representative to Australia Mr. Ismenio Martins da Silva would have to do all the lobby address directly to invite and convince the Australian business firm owner to directly participate and recruiting the Timorese workers.
Consequently on Wednesday the 20th of February 2013, two executive of a business firm owner Mr. Allen and Mrs. Susan Jenkin from queensland which own a citrus plantation farm came to visit Timor Leste to directly meet face to face with the potential workers candidate so as to inform them about their expectation as in regards to standard and skill required to work for their citrus farm.
On that occasion, they would used the opportunity to motivate those potential 302 candidate workers and informed them that, to be able to live and work in an Australia environment condition you will have to obey all the rules and disciplines applicable at your Australia designated work place, The workers are also learned how the employer would provide support at the workplace once they would have arrived.
These activities serves as the main priority for SEPFOPE, as politically envisioned by His Excellency Secretary of State Mr. Ilidio da Costa Ximenes himself which have had oriented the SEPFOPE national Directorate for Employment through its overseas worker secretariat administration that is responsible for those worker in South Korea and in Australia.
On other occasion, after conducting a brief dialogue between the employer Mrs. Susan Jenkin with the workers, on that afternoon they conducted an interview with 10 Timorese workers who would be travelled to Australia to work for a duration of 6 months.The completed information will be published at SEPFOPE website and soon will be also published at the SEPFOPE attached worker’s representative to Australia