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Auto, electronics sectors the focus at skilled labour forum

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The Ford vehicle assembly plant in Pursat province’s Krakor district on June 16. SUPPLIED

Auto, electronics sectors the focus at skilled labour forum

The development of the automotive and electronics sector in Cambodia is likely to face a shortage of skilled labour, prompting the state, private sector and stakeholders to discuss solutions.

The Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) got the ball rolling by holding the first meeting of the Advisory Council for the Development of the Automotive and Electronics Sector on August 2.

The meeting aimed to gather input related to the roles and responsibilities of the council, identify priority measures for cooperation and preparation and implement programme development measures to improve workforce skills.

CDC secretary-general Sok Chenda Sophea said the establishment of the advisory council, endorsed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 3, is one of 20 measures of the draft roadmap for the development of the automotive and electronics sectors.

“Human resource development with programme development measures to improve workforce skills is necessary to meet the needs of the automotive and electronics sectors,” he pointed out.

Tan Monivann, president of the Cambodia Automotive Industry Federation, told The Post that a shortage of skilled labour can be an obstacle to the implementation of the roadmap for the development of the automotive and electronics sectors.

The reason behind the shortage of skilled labour is due to the Cambodian education system which does not integrate technical, vocational education and training (TVET) in high school curriculum.

He said TVET students do not go to college while those who study these subjects get similar salaries as those who have not been educated in this field.

“We have noticed that the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has set up some TVET schools and that some students are enrolled there, but the number is still limited.

“If possible, universities should have TVET skills and state-run TVET schools should continue to work with the private sector to develop this skill,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ngorn Saing, CEO of RMA (Cambodia) Plc, shared that Cambodia has only just started in the field of automotive and electronics, hence the shortage of skilled workers in this field.

“RMA always cooperates with relevant institutions, especially TVET training schools, to accept [students] and provide additional training in the field of automotive skills so as to increase human resources to meet the needs,” he said.

Saing added that the draft roadmap is steered in the direction of turning Cambodia into a production of automobiles and electronics hub to expand the export market to the region and the world.

The draft roadmap is expected to benefit investors in the automotive and electronics sector.

These include improving the electrical and logistics infrastructure to ensure price competitiveness, and effective customs and trade facilitation process for the import and export of products.

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