PEOPLE AND CULTURE
Vanuatu's population of +300,000 and more than 300 households of which about 80% of them are in the rural areas mostly engaged in subsistence farming or agriculture are considered the country's resource base.
BI-LINGUAL, TRAINABLE AND SEMI-SKILLED READILY AVAILABLE WORKFORCE
Vanuatu is a bi-lingual society, a feature contributing to why a big smile is hard not to see in all corners of the country. A smile from a typical Ni Vanuatu is an expression of hospitality. From a business relationship perspective, a smile from a local is a demonstration of confidence and trust - we can communicate with you in both English and French.
Vanuatu operates a bi-lingual education system of curriculum based on English and French. This is something unique about Vanuatu, although in some other Pacific Countries, French is also learnt on a part-time basis.
Education and Policy Developments
Calling for an "Educated Society" remains a priority focus for the Governments' education sector. Ensuring well talented and skilled labor force is good ingredient for foreign direct investment. Therefore the Ministry of Education aims to create an education system, which provides good conditions for knowledge, skills and values development, with the view of enhancing a harmonious and peaceful society, conducive to the promotion of a sustainable Way of life in Vanuatu.
VERY FRIENDLY PEOPLE
The people of Vanuatu are renowned for their smiles, friendliness, high level of hospitality and a wide range of culture and traditions. These attributes combined with the natural beauty of this island nation have been the key factors in attracting tourism and foreign investors to Vanuatu.
The Government is placing more emphasis in building a strong human resource base through high budget allocation to the Education sector and encouraging more technical and vocational schools to be established.
- Friendly, trainable and readily available semi-skilled workforce
- Well educated and experienced workers are English and French speaking citizenry
- According to 2009 Population and Housing Census:
- Labour Force Participation Rate was 70.9%
- Employment-Population ratio was 30.3%
- Unemployment Rate was 4.6%
Vocational National Capacity Building Programs
Skills and capacity development has been and remains a national priority for the government. In partnership with its donor partners, the government has increasingly engaged in introducing and establishing capacity enhancement programs targeting sectors and industries where Vanuatu has a comparative advantage in. This include but not limited to:
- Australian Pacific Training/Technical College (APTC) - providing training in hospitality industries (tourism) and other vocational training. The APTC is funded by the Australian Government and managed through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade - Australia Aid. The APTC was designed as a centre of training excellence, helping you to gain Australian-standard skills and qualifications for a wide range of vocational careers throughout the Pacific – careers where skilled employees are in high demand. The APTC offers Australian Certificate III (and some Certificate IV) training in the following Hospitality and Community Services areas.
- Agriculture College - a training facility aimed at developing and enhancing locals with skills to develop the primary sector of the country
- Training Institute and Vocational & Educational Training (TIVET) - a vocational facility aimed at enhancing skills for the rural workers and community. TVET P
- Labor mobility schemes - There has been significant increase in the number of Vanuatu workers participating in the regional workers program in New Zealand and Australia.
WAGES AND SALARIES
Minimum wages are set by the Minimum Wages Act. Normal working hours are 8 hours per day 5 days per week, inclusive of meal break and rest period.
on 5 September 2019, an amendment has been made to the minimum wage act. This amendment was subsequently published in the official gazette on 17 September and is applicable to the day it was made on 5 September.
The minimum wage has increased from VT200 to VT220 per hour.