For the first time the Skills for Tourism initiative of the Australian Government funded Vanuatu Skills Partnership (formerly TVET) has received financial assistance from the government, through the Department of Tourism (DOT).
The DOT contributed Vt3 million directly into the national skills development fund which facilitates and funds demand driven skills development activities through the provincial skills centres in Torba, Tafea, Sanma and Malampa.
The Skills for Tourism supports over 130 local tourism businesses across these provinces in a number of areas including tour guide training, bookkeeping and customer service.
This Vt3 million contribution forms part of a formal partnership agreement between the DOT, the Vanuatu Tourism Office and Vanuatu Skills Partnership.
The agreement also highlighted direct support from the Vanuatu Tourism Office for online booking, marketing and promotion activities in the outer islands through the established travel centers centres in the four provinces.
Additional operational support will be provided through the provincial tourism officers for logistics and facilitating business coaching, targeted workshops and accredited qualifications.
Highlighting the importance of skills development for the growth of the Vanuatu’s tourism industry, the Acting Director of the DOT Donald Pelam encouraged other departments from other sectors as well private industry to follow the lead of the DOT and contribute directly to the national Skills Development Fund.
Robust monitoring and evaluation has demonstrated that the disbursement of funds through the provincial skills centres results in high levels of economic impact and strong financial accountability.