Vanuatu consists of a chain of four main islands and 80 smaller islands.
Around 252,000 people live in Vanuatu, with one-fifth of the population living in the capital of Port Vila and the majority (76 per cent) living in villages of less than 200 people.
The people of Vanuatu—which means “land eternal”—are largely Melanesian. They are called ni-Vanuatu, which means “of Vanuatu”.
Ni-Vanuatu have lived in these islands for centuries and more than 100 distinctly different cultures and languages still thrive in Vanuatu.
Vanuatu has three official languages—Bislama (pidgin English), French and English—and more than 113 distinct languages and innumerable dialects.
Vanuatu is recognised as one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world.
Dances, ceremonies, status and systems of authority, artistic styles, animal and crop husbandry can vary from island to island, and often from district to district. These cultural traditions are known as kastom (or custom).
The Vanuatu Government’s Employment Service Unit (ESU) coordinates the recruitment process for the Pacific Labour Scheme.
The Vanuatu Government is committed to providing Australian employers in the agriculture, apiculture, horticulture, hospitality meat processing and viticulture sectors with the highest quality workforce.
The strength of this commitment is demonstrated through the ESU’s rigorous recruitment processes and pre-departure training to ensure workers are mentally focused, productive and have a strong work ethic.
Agriculture and horticulture
Vanuatu’s economy is primarily agriculture based. In Vanuatu, 80 per cent of the population depends entirely on subsistence agriculture for their daily sustenance and wellbeing.
The other 20 per cent of the population are based in urban areas but still rely on agricultural products from market centres.
The key crops that contribute to Vanuatu’s gross domestic product are copra, cocoa, kava, and these are largely supplied by subsistence farming.
Agriculture and horticulture play an important role in providing the daily livelihoods of ni-Vanuatu people.
Hospitality and tourism
Vanuatu is a very popular tourist destination and tourism in Vanuatu is a key driver of the country’s economy.
Graduates from the Australia Pacific Technical Coalition in Vanuatu are qualified to pursue careers across many aspects of the tourism sector.
Ni-Vanuatu workers are typically skilled and experienced in the following hospitality and tourism roles:
Vanuatu’s cattle industry includes around 35 commercial cattle farmers, all of whom have large herds that supply most of the beef both to the formal market for domestic consumption and for export.
All cattle for the formal market are slaughtered and processed through the two modern abattoirs in Port Vila and Santo, which are certified to export to New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and other Pacific island countries.
To recruit workers under the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) or the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS), an Australian employer must be registered as an Approved Employer, or they must recruit workers through a labour-hire firm that is an Approved Employer.
To find out more about becoming an Approved Employer, visit the SWP employer information page on the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business website or the PLS employer information page.
Once approved, employers can recruit workers through the Vanuatu Employment Service Unit (ESU), Department of Labour. To contact the ESU, phone (+678 33135) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org (SWP) or email@example.com (PLS)).
The Australian Government has two visa schemes available for ni-Vanuatu nationals to work in Australia.
The Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) provides access to unskilled work opportunities for up to nine months in the Australian agricultural and accommodation sectors (in selected locations).
The Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) enables citizens of Vanuatu to take up low-skilled and semi-skilled work in rural and regional Australia for one to three years.
Alternatively, you can obtain details of our registered recruitment agents by contacting the Employment Service Unit.
To join the Seasonal Worker Programme, an applicant must:
To join the Pacific Labour Scheme, an applicant must:
It is free to join the Seasonal Worker Programme and the Pacific Labour Scheme.
For information about the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP), contact the Employment Services Unit, Department of Labour by phone (+678 33135) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) (SWP).
Alternatively, you can obtain details of our SWP registered recruitment agents by contacting the Employment Service Unit.
For information about the PLS, contact the Employment Services Unit by phone (+678 33135) and watch for specific PLS recruitment advertisements in the newspaper.