As part of the Vanuatu Tourism Crisis Response and Recovery Plan (VTCRRP) relating to Pillar 3 and business readiness, the Department of Tourism (DoT), in partnership with the Department of Public Health, the Australia Pacific Training Coalition, the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, World Vision Vanuatu and Vanuatu Skills Partnership is rolling out mandatory industry training to ensure workplace compliance with the established Safe Business Operations (SBO) Guidelines for the tourism and services sector.

This SBO Policy Guideline titled ‘Vanuatu Guidelines for Safe Business Operations in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic’ will communicate to businesses the measures required to be ‘Clean, Caring and Checked’ to carry out risk assessment, and compliance with health measures.

Training is provided at three levels and targets:

1. General workers/employees — This training provides the essential things to know and do to ensure personal preparedness and workplace safety in relation to COVID-19. Training targets five tourism business categories: Accommodation, Dining/Restaurants, Events/Attractions, Activity/Entertainment, Retail and Transport.

2. Supervisors – all businesses — This training equips workplace supervisors with the tools and checklists to support the development of workplace safety plans, workplace health and safety guidelines and workforce management strategies for handling different alert levels during a pandemic.

3. Supervisors – essential services/businesses — This training provides workplace supervisors with industry standard guidance on complying with Vanuatu Health-Technical Advisory Group/COVID Taskforce (H-TAG) requirements of essential services/businesses during the highest alert for a pandemic.

These six partners have formed a training coalition in support of safe business training to both tourism business sector as well as micro-businesses including the informal sector.

The training coalition is leveraging the equivalent of VT115 million (one hundred and fifteen million vatu) in support of industry-led training to COVID safe standards.

This is a good example of the Vanuatu Government’s leadership for a coalition-based support for industry-led skills development, during a pandemic, and in support of our journey towards economic recovery. The coalition’s resources are also made possible through the invaluable support from Vanuatu, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States Governments.

This is a very important partnership to get businesses prepared. They will also work together to ensure that DoT is supported so that there is credibility with the training and the rolling out of independent auditing for the purpose of certifying businesses.

The SBO training will be officially launched as part of the National Niufala Rod Blo Tourism Week taking place from the 26th to 29th October with training sessions commencing during that week with the selected training providers.

The Vanuatu Government COVID-19 Tourism Industry Workplace Health and Safety Plans and Guidelines that are put in place will have implications for some businesses operations, particularly those that are directly serving tourists and international visitors.

These guidelines are based upon the best and most up-to-date scientific knowledge and are subject to change.

Updates will be communicated by the Ministry of Health and will be available on the COVID-19 website.

Please send any questions to the Department of Tourism by email to tourism@vanuatu.gov.vu

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