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Monday, August 14, 2006

World Bank Report describes lack of jobs in the Pacific as a ticking time bomb

A report by the World Bank says the lack of jobs in some Pacific countries is a ticking time bomb.

The World Bank is advocating greater job mobility for unskilled workers in the Pacific.

The World Bank's Pacific specialist, Chris Blakely, says by the year 2015, less than 10 per cent of job seekers in countries such as Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands will find paid work.

Mr Blakely says temporary labour programs for unskilled Pacific Islanders could help.

"The report finds that seasonal labour schemes targeting unskilled workers could offer new opportunities," he said.

"At the same time, it's got the potential to fill labour shortages in developed countries like Australia and New Zealand."

He says the wages workers send home and the skills they acquire can help Pacific families.

"One of the major threats to families if there's no income earner in their family, we know that people without jobs is one of the contributing factors to social unrest in some countries and in fact we've seen that already in the region," he said.

Mr Blakely says recent events in East Timor and the Solomon Islands show a strong Pacific is in the interest of the whole region.

Source: ABC News Online

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