StarKist Samoa to hire Samoan graduates

Starkist Samoa is targeting students graduating from Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) at the National University of Samoa (NUS).

Samoa’s government owned newspaper reported that a partnership to formalise employment opportunities between the Starkist Samoa and NUS is in the works.

This follows a meeting between a delegation from Starkist Samoa and NUS Vice-Chancellor and President Aiono Professor Alec Ekeroma and his team earlier this month at Papaigalagala.

According to Aiono, the territory’s largest employer with over 2,000 workers on their payroll, (over 95 percent Samoan citizens) are interested in hiring plumbers, electricians, carpenters, welders etc.

Aiono stressed that while the priority of NUS is meeting Samoa’s human resources needs in the trade industry, the attractive wages offered by American Samoa due to the strength of the U.S dollar is a challenge.

“Better wages than what we can offer locally have been offered,” Aiono told the Savali Newspaper.

“We will assist those graduates by linking them across to Starkist who [is] planning to be in country during our TVET graduation in December.”

It’s no dark secret that the lucrative minimum wages offered by American Samoa and dictated by Federal Law are irresistible.

For instance, Samoa’s minimum wage as of 2022 is $3 an hour compared to American Samoa’s minimum wage for the Fishing Canning/Processing Industry of US$5.56 or close to $18 tala. But the opportunities provided don’t just apply to TVET students, Aiono revealed.

He said the conversation, which started after the Atoa o Samoa Executive meetings between the two governments is continuing with other departments in the territory showing interest for potential recruitment partnerships.

For instance, the territory’s Department of Education wants to address their teachers and training needs, and this will be on the agenda in the next meeting scheduled for December, said the NUS Vice Chancellor.

“NUS graduates together with qualified and skilled personnel with management and accounting degrees are also targeted by American Samoa,” he added. The Atoa o Samoa meeting held between the Samoa and American Samoa government created a renewed atmosphere for the governments to refocus and revisit issues of interest, which offer mutual benefits for residents of the two Samoas.

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