Samoa losing skilled labour to seasonal worker schemes - business group

The head of Samoa's Association of Manufacturers and Exporters, Tagaloa Eddie Wilson, says seasonal employment schemes need to be administered better if the country is to benefit fully.

There are currently 55 Samoans working in Australia as part of the 'Seasonal Worker Program' and about 2500 in New Zealand with the 'Recognised Employer Scheme' or RSE.

However, Tagaloa has warned the government needs to tighten its recruitment of seasonal workers as the country is losing skilled labour.

The programme should be used for unemployed Samoans, he said.

"The unskilled workers will then get a skill and then when they come back they can then be a source of skilled supply labour for the private sector but not the other way around.

"It has an impact on the private sector when we start to lose the medium management or the semi-skilled workers to the RSE programme."

However, Tagaloa said his association supported the programmes in theory.