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Professional skills needed for ASEAN 2015

The Ministry of Labour is launching a new training program to prepare Cambodians to compete in the integrated ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) slated to come into being in 2015, ministry officials said yesterday.

The “Skills Bridging Program” will offer training in standard professional skills to youth in grade levels seven through nine across the country.

“Many youths across the country are dropping out of school and taking jobs without finishing their education, so they do not have skills comparable with workers in other countries,” Pich Sophan, secretary of state at the Labour Ministry, said yesterday.

“This worries us, because our country will face job competition with other ASEAN countries starting in 2015. We hope that this new program will make us competitive in the ASEAN job market. We have enough human resources and do not want to see other ASEAN labourers overwhelm our country.”

Sophan said that of Cambodia’s seven million current workers, a full 50 per cent dropped out of school at the primary level. Rural areas, where standards of living are generally lower, have especially high dropout rates.

Ouk Davany, director of the Technical Standard Institute, said the Skills Bridging Program should prepare these students to work in the fields of electronics, car repair and construction.

He noted that currently “most students want to study subjects that involve office work, but do not seem to focus on professional technical training, which means that other countries have an edge”.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sen David at david.sen@phnompenhpost.com

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