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Free upskilling plan to take in 15% more workers than in 2021

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Officials inspect the premises of a rice cracker factory in the capital’s Por Sen Chey district in 2020. Heng Chivoan

Free upskilling plan to take in 15% more workers than in 2021

The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training intends to recruit 7,500 workers for free technical training, an increase of 1,000, or 15 per cent, compared to last year’s intake.

The figure was revealed by Thang Samon, deputy head of the ministry’s Directorate General of Technical and Vocational Education.

“We have received permission from the Ministry of Economy and Finance to recruit 7,500, which is up by 1,000 compared to 2021,” he told The Post on August 15.

The ministry also provided soft-skills training to 108 factories and manufacturing enterprises with 68,000 participants, 54,799 of them women.

According to Samon, the special training will last for four months and targets workers who have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The training focuses on the technical aspect of roles which are in high demand, and will enable participants to be self-reliant.

He said that last year, the training was not only free of charge, but the 6,500 participants also received 200,000 riel ($50) per month for the four-month course.

For this year’s training, the policy of support payments will likely change. Only workers holding ID Poor cards will receive the monthly allowance.

“In 2022, we may only provide financial support only if they have level 1 or 2 equity cards. However, this policy has not been officially decided as we are waiting on a final decision from our minister,” he said.

Khun Tharo, programme manager for the Centre for Alliance of Labour and Human Rights (CENTRAL), said the training positively impacted on the skills of workers, specifically because it meant they would have more than one skill.

“Workers should have multiple skills in order to respond to market demand – especially the job market in Cambodia. If we think about it, moat of our workforce does not have multiple skills. For example, some workers may sew one pattern on one machine for several years,” he said.

In addition to the training, he urged the labour ministry to create more job opportunities, so that there would be work for graduates of the programme.

According to the ministry’s survey, over 45 per cent of the people who attended the training had received excellent positions as skilled technicians, while 17 per cent were now in management roles. Just 19 per cent had not found work related to their training.

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