Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA)
Temporary Movement of Natural Persons (TMNP)
Youth Employment, Self Employment, and
Sustainable Development in the Pacific and Timor
Leste: How can Demand-Driven Training Respond?
27 – 29 September 2011
Nadi, Fiji
Contact: Shiu Raj ([email protected])
Trade Policy Adviser
Regional Youth Initiative
Leaders underlined the important role of government,
the private sector and technical and vocational
training institutions in urgently addressing youth
unemployment. Leaders also recognised the need for
the development of a regional framework for youth
employment, the contribution that labour
mobility offers, and emphasised the importance
of having annual labour and employment statistics …..
Extract from 2011 Forum Leaders’ Communique.
Purpose of the PICTA TMNP
 To address critical domestic labour shortages.
 To promote the temporary movement of skilled people
between Forum Island Countries (FICs) and encourage
economic growth.
 To promote the development of some FICs as labour
exporting countries.
 Focus is on skilled and semi-skilled workers.
Consultations so far …
 1999 –Decision to consider trade in services/TMNP among FICs
 2001 – Endorsement of Study suggesting TMNP
 2004 – Modalities developed for consultation
 2004 - 2007 – Consultations on modalities (all 14 FICs)
 March/May 2007 – Regional Workshop endorsed TMNP in PICTA
 December 2007 – draft negotiating framework prepared
 March 2008 – Negotiations launched
 October 2008 – Detailed PICTA TMNP Study sought
 March/July/Dec 2009 – PICTA TMNP Conceptual Framework
Developed for consultation
 February 2011 – Ministerial decision to develop negotiating text
 March 2011 – First consideration of full TMNP text
…Scheme is being negotiated.
 Conceptual Framework circulated to FICs in 2009
 All 14 Forum Island Countries involved in the
discussion (June-November 2009)
 Text developed for the 5th Round of Negotiations
(March 2011), negotiated further in August 2011
 Focus on Temporary Labour Mobility,
 TMNP separate from the TIS framework (Mode 4)
 Skilled and semi-skilled categories of occupation –
to meet labour shortages in individual FICs
 A better arrangement than the current practice?
Temporary Movement of Natural
Persons (TMNP)
 States will permit natural persons from another Party
(FIC) to enter their labour market.
 A ‘natural’ person:
(i) is a national of that other Party; or
(ii)has the right of permanent residence in that other
Party in the case of a party which does not have
 PICTA TMNP is only temporary - other schemes are
designed for longer term employment.
 The PICTA TMNP does not replace other forms of work
 Satisfy the requirements of a ‘natural person’ under
the PICTA TMNP Scheme.
 Be of good character.
 Be of good health.
 Satisfy qualifications and experience requirements.
Tier 1
 Recognised Professionals (ie: doctors, lawyers,
teachers, nurses etc.)
 They must possess:
- Degree from a recognised university
- 3 years work experience
- Licence to practice or other accreditation
 No numerical limit.
 Can enter a host country without an offer of
Tier 2
 Semi-Skilled or Trades Workers (Mechanics, carpenters
Must have either:
(a) A diploma from a recognised educational institution and
at least 3 years relevant work experience, or
(b) A certificate from a recognised institution and at least 5
years relevant work experience, or
(c) A certification of competency from the Secretariat of the
Pacific Community’s (SPC), Secretariat of Pacific Board of
Educational Assessment (SPBEA) Register of Qualifications
and Standards/National Qualifications Authority.
 Must have an offer of employment.
Licensing & Accreditation
 SPC’s SPBEA – Mutual recognition of qualifications
across FICs.
Pacific Register of Qualifications and Standards.
National Register of Qualifications.
Host country may require the worker to join the
national professional or trade organisation.
Recognition of licences from other FICs.
Numerical Target
 No limit for Tier 1 professionals.
 Limit for Tier 2 Semi-skilled and Trades workers.
 The numerical target refers to the amount of workers
under the scheme in each country. Each country will
need to determine whether that refers to a fixed
annual amount or the number of workers under the
scheme in the country at any given time.
 The target is a minimum and countries are free to take
more workers if they want.
 There is no requirement for a country to meet the
minimum level.
Length of Stay
 The length of the contract can be any period up to a
maximum 0f 3 years.
 30 day gap before a person can return.
 Immigration compliance against overstayers.
Administration of the Scheme
 Transparency of processes (allocation of positions etc.)
 30 day turn around of application
 Fees limited to cost of processing the application
Bonds or Indemnities
 Employers provide bonds or indemnities to cover the
return airfare of the worker.
 This is to guarantee that the worker will return to their
home country at the completion of the contract.
Spouse & Dependents
 A spouse is able to work as long as they satisfy the
requirements of the Protocol.
 A spouse refers to a person who is recognised as lawfully
married (in host and home countries) to a natural person
applying for entry under the PICTA TMNP Scheme.
 A dependent means:
(a) A child aged 18 years or under.
(b) A child (between the ages of 19 and 21) who is in full-time
education (up to and including first degree).
(c) A natural person of any age who is suffering from a
disability or is a genuine dependent.
Certification & Visas
 Need to designate the relevant agency to issue the
 The certificate will be evidenced by a stamp in the
passport .
Home Country Responsibility
 Ensure workers understand their rights and
 Maintain an effective and secure system for verifying
Host Country Responsibility
 Ensure effective regulation of the work environment.
 Ensure satisfactory work conditions relative to local
National Working Committee
 To supervise the PICTA TMNP scheme.
 All Forum Island Country NWCs meet once per year
with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
PICTA TMNP Scheme – Next Actions
 Identification of labour market shortages and
provision of national occupation list – by each FIC.
 National agencies prepared for next round of
discussions and negotiation – need extensive
consultations:: Are you part of it?
 How can our Youth be part of this initiative? What can
be done about the opportunities now? What is
required for the ‘paradigm shift’ that promotes
training labour for mobility?

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