The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has urged young people to promptly register for courses at technical institutes throughout the country. The move follows the government’s official announcement of a national programme on technical and vocational training for 1.5 million young individuals from impoverished and vulnerable families.

Kata Orn, secretary of state and spokesperson for the ministry, stated on November 18 that technical institutes under the ministry were prepared for registration, having organised lessons and materials and tidied their surrounding grounds. 

“All technical institutes must ensure their environments are orderly and clean to welcome the young people enrolling in the government’s programme,” he stated.

He noted that the classes are complimentary for youth that meet the criteria and that those students would also receive a monthly stipend of 280,000 riel (nearly $70). 

Orn highlighted the initiative as a golden opportunity provided by the government, taking into account the future of both the youth and the general populace.

Tan Monivann, vice-president of the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) and president of the Cambodia Automotive Industry Federation (CAIF), noted on November 19 the potential hindrance of skilled labour shortages to the roadmap for developing the country’s automotive and electronics sectors. 

He believes that the government’s vocational training policy could address the issue.

“The scarcity of skilled workers is due to Cambodia’s education system not incorporating technical and vocational education and training (TVET) from high school onwards. The labour ministry’s implementation of this crucial policy is a significant step for our private sector,” he explained.

“I urge young people to seize this opportunity for their future and to contribute to our national economy,” he added.

Monivann also suggested that universities should incorporate TVET skills and that public TVET schools should maintain collaboration with the private sector to advance these abilities.

Kin Phea, director of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, also recognised the government’s introduction of the training as an excellent opportunity for young Cambodians.

“I urge the target youth to enroll promptly, as this training will equip them with tangible skills for respectable job opportunities and provide essential life skills,” he said.

He added that the initiative aligns with the government’s strategy to enhance the lives of the poor and vulnerable, transforming them from unskilled labour into skilled workers, thereby increasing productivity in factory production chains and preparing the workforce to attract new investors.

Prime Minister Hun Manet announced the implementation of the programme on November 14 and encouraged participants to focus on their learning to acquire quality and practical work skills.