Pacific Growth and Employment Project (PGEP)

The latest progress chart on the Millennium Development Goals indicates a large to very large decent work deficit in Oceania. Progress is insufficient to reach the MDG target if prevailing trends persist. The opportunity to earn a living wage, in a secure job where you are treated with respect and dignity remains a challenge in Oceania.
In recognition of this challenge, the Pacific Growth and Employment Project (PGEP) was developed.

It is a two year programme under the umbrella of the Australia-ILO Partnership Agreement. The principal objective of the project is to improve opportunities for sustainable and productive employment growth by working with industry leaders and other stakeholders to identify and pursue points of intervention to support employment opportunities for local workers in the transport sector in Papua New Guinea and the tourism sector in Vanuatu.

The project draws on Australian industry involvement with businesses in the Pacific countries to develop industry-led action plans and commitment to training and employment of local workers.

The project is being implemented jointly by the peak union body in Australia, the Australian Council of Trade Unions, and one of the major employer groups in Australia, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Since the project began in late 2012, the PGEP project team has consulted and engaged with industry leaders, governments, education providers and other participants to obtain their views on the specific opportunities and barriers to employment growth. Accordingly a key goal of the project is to draw on the practical experience, perspective and the collaborative leadership of industry stakeholders.

Next steps include:
• Working with key industry leaders, employer organisations and trade unions to develop industry led employment growth plans in the two sectors;
• Further workshops with industry leaders to develop draft action plans; and
• Assisting the social partners to develop strategies to address and overcome barriers to employment growth
The expected outcomes of the project include:
• Increased opportunities for sustainable and productive employment;
• Harmonisation of skills across the Pacific and Australian economies in the transport and tourism sectors;
• Increased awareness of industry led outcomes within a tripartite framework;
• Demonstration of the value of industry led action plans to grow employment; and
• Strengthened capacity of the representative organisations of employers and workers for dialogue and cooperation across the region.

Further information on the background and project activities is available at

Article provided by ACTU