Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Sam Heng said a master plan was being established for Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programmes to further human resource development in the face of a shortage of technical skills in the workforce.
Speaking during a meeting with ministry officials on Wednesday, Sam Heng voiced concern about a shortage of TVET-trained manpower for the prevailing market.
He said the government and ministry officials had been working to address this shortage by visiting TVET centres across the Kingdom.
“Towards the end of this year, the ministry will establish a master plan to arrange infrastructure at TVET centres across the country.
“The plan covers TVET buildings, workshops, trainers and the teaching of new techniques to trainees. The aim is to support human resource development in the sector, in terms of quantity and quality,” he said.
“The labour ministry will also form a statistics committee with me as chairman. Regular meetings will be held, and the ministry will assign a point man to collect data at each workplace.
“In past years, the tallying of statistics from various workplaces has been slow, adding to the current state of affairs,” he said.
Labour ministry spokesman Heng Sour said on Thursday that the master plan would make it easier for relevant partners to contribute to the development of and investment in TVET programmes.
“Through the master plan, we know [beforehand] about the medium and long-term vision of each [TVET] institution. Then we can work closely together in formulating main policies for the nation,” he said.
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport spokesman Ros Soveacha said there are 14 general knowledge and technical high schools under the ministry’s management and two higher-level technical skills training institutes – in Phnom Penh and Kampong Speu province.
The ministry, he said, had incorporated some new technical skills into the curriculum of national and technical high schools to meet the needs of the job market and contribute to industrial development.
The new skills are electronics, electricity, agronomy, mechanics and accounting, he said.
“The technical skills will help boost the quantity and quality of human resources at factories and other workplaces. They will also serve foundation courses for students wishing to advance their skills,” he said.
Nuon Reaksmey, the principal of ATP School of Hospitality and Tourism in Phnom Penh, applauded the ministry’s formulation a master plan for TVET.
He said the move was important to address the current shortage of skilled manpower in hospitality and tourism, especially the shortfall in the number of professional TVET trainers.
“To foster the development of vocational training for the years 2020-2025, it is imperative to have professional trainers who can transfer their technical skills to trainees,” he said.
The technical skills, he said, would play an important role in the labour sector including in the tourism and hospitality industry.
He said with the increasing number of tourists each year, Cambodia needed a more skilled workforce to meet rising demand. Reaksmey attributed the skills shortage to the lack of interests in vocational training among students in general.
“Due to the shortage, the tourism and hospitality sector is experiencing difficulties in employing a trained workforce, and every year presents a shortage.
“I think students should be encouraged to turn to short vocational training courses because they would spend less time and have a better chance of securing jobs and good positions at their workplaces,” he said.