ILO conduct specialized training for gravel road construction in Vanuatu

A unique approach to gravel road construction and maintenance was the focus of a two week specialized training for 23 local staff of the Island Based Contractors (IBC) and the Public Works Department (PWD) from Tanna, Vanuatu last week.

Press release | Suva, Fiji | 02 June 2015
Known as the Labour Based Technology (LBT) the methodology supports the use of locally available hand tools and skills to maximize local employment.

Delivered by the International Labour Organization and organized by PWD with the support of Roads for Development (R4D) programme, the training was successfully received by 23 IBC and PWD staff.

According to Divisional Manager of PWD, Mr. Juan Juliano the initiative is extremely useful saying: “The training was beneficial and will assist in improving roads and living standard for the people in Tanna.”

“Ultimately, the net effect is poverty reduction through increased accessibility and improved local economic growth through private sector development”, said Mr David Lamotte, the ILO Director for Pacific Island Countries. Mr Lamotte visited Vanuatu after Pam and saw first-hand the devastation caused by the category 5 cyclone, including the impact on local employment and livelihoods.

The ILO conducted an Employment Livelihoods and Social Protection (ELSP) assessment as part of the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) lead by government and found that 504,050 work days and VT 1.6 billion of personal income have been lost.

The Owner of I.N.T.K Construction Mr Tom Kaltoi and Mr Jack Iamak owner of Iamak Constructions both attended the training. They were also part of the ILO training in the late 80’s and 90’s. Today, they are IBC directors in Tanna and employ over 40 locals between them.  “We are grateful for this training including the training materials provided by ILO, which we can use to better implement LBT method,” said Mr Iamak. 

“Tom and Jack’s stories are a testimony of how such targeted training and support can eventuate in the establishment of local enterprises and local employment creation”, said Mr Lamotte. Last Saturday a government tender for road maintenance for Tanna was advertised in the local newspapers and these IBC’s are in a better position to apply LBT methods, he added.

Additional support to IBC’s in Tanna will be through the provision of Business Development Services (BDS) by the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce & Industry (VCCI) and Labour Law and Working Conditions training by the Department of Labour (DoL) and Vanuatu Council of Trade Unions (VCTU).

Mr Lamotte said that the ILO has received interests from IBC’s in other islands such as Epi. “Once we have developed and finalised a complete package of programme for IBC’s and eventually community contractors, we hope to roll it out in other provinces and islands,” said Mr Lamotte. ILO will continue to work with the existing government structures and processes to support and add value to national recovery efforts and plans. The ILO technical assistance in this area of work is funded by the Japanese government’s Social Safety Net Project (SSNP).

For further information and interviews contact: Mr David Lamotte, ILO Director for Pacific Island Countries: