This week has marked the establishment of the first-ever community-owned company under the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC) in SANMA province – the Sanma Creative Industries Community Company (SCICC).

This is the result of the tireless collaboration between the Sanma Provincial Government, the Department of Industry, the Department of Women’s Affairs, the Sanma Skills Centre under the Ministry of Education and Training and it is supported by the Vanuatu Skills Partnership (VSP) and women headwear producers across the province.

For years, the craftswomen from the Sanma Skills Centre and their engagement with the internationally renowned Australian headwear specialist, Rosie Boylan have had the women honing their talents to create unique headwear products.

Ms Boylan has been working closely with the SCICC Acting Manager, Janet Sine who is a pioneer in Vanuatu’s headwear production.

The demand for these products is growing both domestically and internationally, with new markets opening up due to the quality and ethical production standards of the headwear.

Through this collaborative approach and the establishment of a community-owned company under the VFSC, this industry is poised to further develop and improve its manufacturing level and market reach.

Plans are now underway for the building of a new ‘production hub’ which will not only enable increased technical value-addition of the products, but also showcase the unique beauty of the province’s cultural craft — and place it firmly on the international map.

As stated by the Sanma Province Secretary General, Albert Ruddley who believed in the talent and skills of our people and who is excited that through the collaborative efforts “we are seeing how local industry can be supported.”

“This is so critical especially in this time where we are facing the dual challenge of TC Harold recovery and COVID-19 impacts – and where the diversification of new products and new markets is so essential”.

Vanuatu Skills Partnership Director, Fremden Yanhambath further confirmed the ongoing support of the provincial Skills Centres in supporting the development of Vanuatu’s creative industries through targeted skills training and market access facilitation – “the Skills Centers under the Ministry of Education and Training are pivoting their support to ensure that communities and local industry have access to skills training and market networks in new in-demand areas — to support them on the road to recovery and growth”.

Source: Vanuatu Skills Partnership

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