Pacific workers increase financial skills in quarantine

Workers arriving from the Pacific Islands to fill labour shortages in Australia are putting their time in quarantine to good use, completing ANZ’s award winning MoneyMinded program during their mandatory 14 day stay in Queensland facilities.

As many as 500 Pacific Island workers, who will earn up to 10 times as much working in Australia as they would back home, will complete MoneyMinded this year.

The financial education program is designed to help participants make more informed decisions about their money, including ways to budget, save and send money back to their families and communities while working in Australia.

ANZ will deliver the program in partnership with Powerpac, a provider of the Australian Federal Government’s Pacific Labour Scheme. The Scheme has been designed to fill labour gaps in regional areas that struggle to attract and retain workers.

ANZ Head of Agribusiness Mark Bennett said: “Our Agricultural industry, particularly our fresh produce sector, has a heavy seasonal labour requirement that’s filled by a balance of domestic, backpacker and overseas work programs.

“The Pacific Labour Scheme and Seasonal Worker Programme have played a key role in addressing labour shortages, as travel restrictions continue to limit our access to international workers and make it difficult for Australian workers to move freely between states.

“The relationship and protocols with our Pacific neighbours is seen as a win-win; our critical food crops are being harvested and processed by diligent skilled labour, while providing an opportunity for these workers to earn incomes to support their communities back home.

“While we expect technology and automation will lessen the Agriculture industry’s reliance on labour requirements over time, physical labour will continue to be a mainstay requirement,” Mr Bennett said.

Money sent back to the Pacific from overseas, known as remittances, can make up around 25 per cent of a household’s disposable income.

ANZ recently waived online International Money Transfer fees for ANZ customers in Australia and New Zealand sending money back home.

As part of ANZ’s partnership with Powerpac and the Pacific Labour Scheme we also support businesses that pay and treat their workers fairly in line with our commitments.

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