May 12, 2022

Vanuatu faces shortage of workers in tourism sector ahead of reopening of borders

A trade union coalition has been formed to address the shortage of skilled labor in the tourism and hospitality sector in Vanuatu.

The countdown to reopening the border to international travelers on July 1 has begun after the government officially announced the date last month.

A challenge for the government and the Vanuatu Tourism Board (VTO) is the shortage of labor or skilled workers in the tourism sector.

To address this shortage, the trade union coalition was formed between the Ministry of Tourism, Trade, Commerce and Ni-Vanuatu Affairs (MTTCNVB) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MOIA) through the collaboration of the Department of Tourism (DoT), Department of Labor (DOL) and the VTO to work together and facilitate the opportunity for registration and training of ni-Vanuatu in the tourism and hospitality sector to prepare for reopening borders.

Waterfront in Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu
Photo: Round RNZ/Sally

Geraldine Tari, Acting DOT Director, said it is the Bureau’s role to facilitate the immediate need to restore service excellence to the industry as part of being ready for tourism, by addressing the need recruiting registration and training to prepare workers for the tourism and hospitality industry.

“Over 50 businesses in Port Vila have been certified ‘Clean Caring and Checked’ as part of the Safe Business Operations training,” she said.

“It is important that they are supported by competent workers to prepare their businesses for the reopening of borders.”

According to the Labor Commissioner (COL), Murielle Meltenoven, the reopening of borders is everyone’s business.

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Photo: RNZ / Moera Tuilaepa-Taylor

“For MOIA and the Government of Vanuatu, it is a priority to establish the conditions for a strong national labor market that provides good employment opportunities for all citizens of Ni-Vanuatu during this period of reopening,” said said Meltenoven.

VTO ​​CEO Adela Issachar Aru said the collaboration with the DOL and DOT is essential to show its commitment to rebuilding the national labor market, focusing on the tourism sector with the celebration of the International Day in 2022.

“We know our people are very talented and skilled people,” she said. “In no time, we will be able to recycle them and have them ready to welcome all our international travelers and guests to answer the call of Vanuatu.”

“It is our people, our customs and our culture that form the experience of a lifetime, and we look forward to offering this once again to our international guests.

Yachts and tall ships anchored in Vila Bay - Port Vila, Efate Island, Vanuatu.

Yachts and tall ships anchored in Vila Bay – Port Vila, Efate Island, Vanuatu.
Photo: lkonya/123RF

“In our preparation and efforts to reconnect to the world and to support Business Houses in Vanuatu, Employment Vanuatu is one of the best solutions to help the industry with options to recruit the qualified person(s) to work with your business. and rebuild our economy,” she said.

Employment Vanuatu, the employment registration portal launched by DOL in 2021 exists to assist the corporate sector in their recruitment pool when finding suitable candidates to work and grow their businesses.

It is expected that planning for the construction of Vanuatu’s national labor market will be supported by this Employment Services Portal tool.

To facilitate the smooth processing of tourism and hospitality workers, whether new or experienced, the DOT, in conjunction with the VTO, has established a Tourism Labor Office to assist interested applicants, in as part of its Tourism Ready activities aimed at preparing the industry for the reopening of borders in July.

Blue lagoon in Vanuatu

Blue lagoon in Vanuatu
Photo: RNZ Pacific

The Tourism Labor Office is supported by the Australian Pacific Technical College (APTC) and the Vanuatu Skills Partnership (VSP) to ensure that support is provided as part of the collaboration to develop a labor – qualified work for the tourism industry.

Tourism Labor Bureau officers will work closely with the DOL to coordinate worker registration, facilitate training linkages with training providers, and ensure the creation of a tourism-ready workforce. and the hotel industry.

The tourism employment office will also work with training partners to monitor the quality of on-the-job training by trainers and employees.


Photo: RNZ Pacific

Meanwhile, International Labor Day 2022 also coincided with the VTO launching a series of ten short promotional videos titled “Vanuatu, Yumi Kat Talent”, as part of a national worker attraction campaign. .

The campaign aims to urge workers across the country to seek employment opportunities in the tourism and hospitality sector, as the country prepares for the reopening of borders.

“We have something for everyone, please apply today,” is the message reiterated by Murielle Meltenoven.

The series of 10 promotional videos will be shared on various social media platforms to create excitement and provide outreach support to the private sector to fill their vacancies with competent employees who have the right skills.