Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Concern grows over labour skills of youth

Concern grows over labour skills of youth

Concern grows over labour skills of youth

In a new report on the quantity and quality of jobs in the Asia-Pacific region, the International Labour Organization (ILO) flagged the issue of the lack of employment opportunities for youth in the region as being of concern.

“Labour market prospects for youth – aged 15-24 – remain gloomy in parts of the Asia-Pacific region, which has the world’s largest youth population,” said the report.

The October 2012 Asia-Pacific Labour Market Update analyses economic data gathered from official government statistics and the CEIC Global Database.

Cambodia was not included in the report as data for 2012 was not available, said Phu Huynh, an ILO economist in Bangkok.

However, the ILO’s Decent Work Country Profile-Cambodia, released in July, which assesses Cambodia’s progress over the last decade, notes a low youth unemployment rate of 0.2 per cent in 2009.

Despite this, the Decent Work report suggests that though unemployment rates in Cambodia are low, there is a lack of good quality employment, and for the better skilled jobs, there is a mismatch between the skills available and the skills required.

“Cambodia’s economy remains limited in its ability to create decent employment opportunities,” said the report.

According to Sophorn Tun, the ILO’s national coordinator in Cambodia, approximately 300,000 young people enter Cambodia’s labour market every year.

“Cambodia requires technical skills to prepare the labour force for the opportunities that will come with the economic growth,” he said.

“However, the current educational institutions and curricula often do not match market demands and the needs of the private sector,” Sophorn Tun said.

Statistics from the National Employment Agency, provided by the ILO, show the crafting, service and sales industries are the worst affected by the skills gap.

According to Sophorn Tun, Cambodia’s young workforce should aim to possess a range of good technical and soft skills to match the growing demand from employers for workers with these mixed skills.
Longdy Yi, president of youth leadership organisation AIESEC, agreed with the sentiments expressed by the ILO.

“As the leader of AIESEC Cambodia, my experience working with different stakeholders has taught me that it’s not that local companies don’t have jobs for youth because they do have a lot of them,” he said.

“It’s that they have difficulties finding the right talents to fill their vacancies and their needs,” he added.

A major cause of this is the lack of diversity of courses offered, accessibility to higher education and training, and the lack of coordination between educators and employers.

“I think a lot of young people in general are worried,” he said.

“That’s why they strive to finish their university in the first place. However, not a lot of them know what they can do to lower their worry, to lower the possibility of not getting employed in the first place.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Erika Mudie at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • School reopening to be postponed until November

    Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Hun Sen requesting a delay of school reopening across the Kingdom until November, when the new academic year begins. In his letter, Chuon Naron said the postponement is warranted to avoid the new

  • Foreigners in Kingdom must now register in FPCS system

    The Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Immigration (GDI) announced that it would not grant visa extensions to foreigners staying in Cambodia if their names are not listed on the Foreigners Present in Cambodia System (FPCS) by July 1. Foreign nationals can register in the

  • Covid-19 at ‘alarming rate’, health ministry says

    The Covid-19 risk level for individual transmission is at an “alarming rate” in the Kingdom and its probability is “not low”, warned Health Ministry spokesperson Or Vandine. “Cambodia’s coronavirus scenario is classified as being at an early stage of the pandemic because of ongoing

  • Mandatory quarantine for 30,000 workers begins

    Some of the roughly 30,000 workers from factories and enterprises across the Kingdom who went on leave during Khmer New Year began their government-imposed 14-day quarantine on Monday. Speaking at a press conference while visiting workers at the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone on Monday, Ministry

  • Unemployed to get $40 per month

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has instructed enterprises, business owners and travel agencies in five provinces to prepare the proper forms for the suspension of employment contracts. This, it said, will make it easier for the ministry to transfer $40 a month to workers

  • Gov’t travel ban flouted

    While the majority of Cambodians have paid heed to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s order to stay put and not travel during the Khmer New Year – the holidays of which were also postponed – several hundred have left Phnom Penh nonetheless. They have allegedly breached provincial

  • G20 energy ministers struggle to finalise oil output cuts

    Top oil producers struggled to finalise production cuts during a virtual summit held by Group of 20 (G20) energy ministers on Friday, despite US President Donald Trump’s mediation efforts to end a standoff with Mexico. The final G20 communique appeared to gloss over simmering divisions

  • Kingdom revises travel restriction order

    The government on Friday eased the district and provincial border restrictions issued on Thursday. People are now allowed to cross districts within their provinces. Phnom Penh and Kandal province are to be treated as a single region where people are allowed to travel freely. In

  • Private schools struggling

    The Cambodian Higher Education Association has claimed that 113 private educational establishments are facing bankruptcy because of their inability to pay rent and staff salaries in light of nationwide school closures caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. It said the financial trouble started when the Ministry of