A platform to create meaningful, high-value skilled jobs for women and men in Samoa. The partnership will support Samoan graduates to develop their skills processing financial statements, tax returns and reporting documents for clients abroad, to meet increasing demand for accountancy support from firms in New Zealand and Australia.
There are limited high-skilled employment opportunities in Samoa. This has been compounded by COVID-19, which has increased unemployment, particularly in key industries related to tourism and international trade. Employment opportunities are particularly limited for women and people living with a disability, and women are less likely to be offered professional development and leadership opportunities.
While accountancy is seen as a desirable career option in Samoa, the sector provides few local job opportunities, forcing many graduates to take lesser-skilled jobs or seek employment overseas. In addition, despite Samoa’s proximity to New Zealand and Australia, its potential to provide professional services support to firms in both countries is largely untapped.
About the initiative
The initiative aims to create meaningful employment opportunities, raise incomes and improve lives in Samoa by supporting the growth of Samoa-based accounting firm, WE Samoa, to generate a significant number of local employment opportunities supporting the preparation of financial statements and tax returns for accounting firms in New Zealand and, in the longer term, Australia. This will increase the availability of high-value, skilled jobs in Samoa — raising wages, increasing economic diversification and supporting economic recovery from COVID-19.
Through the BPP partnership, WE Samoa aims to develop a new, online platform for staff training; provide skills development opportunities for graduates and established accountants; and contribute to the development of Samoa’s workforce. This will also help WE Samoa to fulfil its ambition of growing from its current pilot phase into a larger-scale Samoa-based accounting firm and creating high-value job opportunities for more than 120 local people by the end of the partnership.
Meaningful, high-value jobs for women and men
WE Samoa aims to be seen as an employer-of-choice in Samoa, providing meaningful jobs; allowing employees to meet their family, cultural and faith-based obligations; and supporting families and communities. The development of highly skilled jobs, with associated salaries above the national average, will benefit employees and their families, as well as the broader economy. In addition, WE Samoa has robust equal-pay policies in place, with no gender gap in employee wages, and is committed to developing a gender-balanced workforce at all levels and providing significant training and opportunities for women to take on leadership positions.
A new export industry for Samoa
WE Samoa also hopes to highlight Samoa’s competitive advantage as a provider of professional support services to clients in New Zealand and Australia: similar time zones, competitive costs and – for the accounting sector – a tax system based directly on the New Zealand system, using International Financial Reporting Standards. The partnership has the potential to catalyze the development of a new export industry providing similar professional support to other sectors, which could further support the recovery of jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Key contributions from partners
- WE Samoa is leading delivery of the initiative, and provides established practices for training and supporting staff, accounting accreditation, private sector networks and project management and financial expertise.
- KVAConsult is providing project management expertise and networks to assist with oversight and support of management and implementation of partnership activities.
- Australian Government can provide catalytic funding and can offer gender expertise to strengthen social and commercial impacts, connection to an extensive network, support to capture and report social impact, and national and global recognition.
Hear from our partners
“By establishing itself in Samoa, WE has provided meaningful employment as part of the digital economy to local graduates. The opportunity for employment with WE contributes to improved outcomes for their families, villages and church communities. They do not have to travel overseas for employment, and become part of the brain gain and not brain drain for Samoa.” Moananu Tyrone Laurenson – WE Samoa