Launching of the retired professionals component of employment services Vanuatu

Speech by Mr. Satoshi Sasaki, OIC, ILO Office for the Pacific Island Countries

Statement | Fiji Islands | 18 February 2016

As a technical agency of the United Nations, the International Labour Organisation works with its tripartite constituents by providing technical assistance in the area of labour and employment. In the Pacific, the ILO serves 10 member countries. Our technical assistance is guided by the priorities identified by its constituents in the Decent Work Country Programme. Vanuatu became a member of the ILO in 2003. Tripartite Labour Advisory Council was established in 2010 to advise the minister on labour and employment policy issues and support Technical Assistance of the ILO.The key areas of ILO technical assistance include: (1) Labour law reform; (2) Employment creation, including seasonal work and youth employment; (3) Social protection and (4) Social dialogue.

In response to government’s priorities to the recovery and reconstruction phase of Cyclone Pam, the ILO has supported emergency employment programmes and institutional capacity building to respond to the crisis, and at the same time ensure medium to long term developmental outcomes. In fact, the need for employment services, was identified in the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA), endorsed and launched by the government few months after the cyclone. The PDNA highlighted total economic value of the effects caused by the Cyclone Pam to be approximately VT 50 billion which is equivalent to 64% of the GDP in Vanuatu. Employment, Livelihoods & Social Protection Assessment deduced that 504 thousand work days and VT 1.6 billion of personal income have been lost. Employment Services Vanuatu (ESV) is one of 3 ILO programmes designed and implemented with government and local stakeholders, including employers and workers organisations as a way to promote employment in the aftermath of the Cyclone Pam.

The ILO supported in the development of ESV: (1) through piloting of various models; (2) organizing training of government officials; (3) conducting study tour for the government officials to the Fiji National Employment Center to bring back and implement good practices; (4) refining of process within ESV to respond to the labour market needs (5) and linking the services to the on-going initiatives to create synergies. To make such an initiative like ESV to be effective and sustainable, I would also like to take this opportunity to encourage the government to invest in the development of national policies that will ensure job creation.

In conclusion, I like to mention that the ILO will continue to take catalytic role in further developing ESV and support the government efforts in creating decent work opportunities in this country. Once again, I thank you for your participation in the launching of a new scheme under ESV today.