Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Samheng said technical and vocational education and training (TVET) will transform Cambodia into a country rich in human resources with the knowledge, ability and skills that lead to higher productivity, which is attractive for investment.

He noted that in the last five years, Cambodia has trained more than 200,000 workers and students.

This statement was made on the 5th National TVET Day under the theme “TVET increases work productivity and competitiveness” on June 15, which was marked in Phnom Penh with a gathering of more than 15,000 people including representatives of ministries, institutions, companies, enterprises, private institutions as well as youths and students.

As part of the day’s events there was an exhibition and booths on the job market, skills training at schools and 55 booths representing private companies and enterprises.

The labour ministry prepared the day’s events with the aim of promoting TVET and raising awareness with youths, students, parents/guardians and the private sector of the importance of TVET in promoting a high-quality and efficient workforce with the skills to respond to the local and international labour market.

Samheng said that this year was a demonstration of the joint efforts of a national movement to expand awareness of the role and importance of TVET at both the national and sub-national levels and promoting lifelong learning to develop a skilled workforce and increase competition in the local and international labour markets.

He said that the goal was to turn Cambodia into a country that is rich in human resources with the potential for attracting more investment.

“TVET will attract big production companies to invest in Cambodia in the present and in the future, which contributes to increased incomes, creates job opportunities and reduces poverty,” he said.

He added that the ministry would continue to celebrate National TVET Day each year and called on the private sector to invest more and join into partnerships with the ministry, national and international organizations, development partners and philanthropists and continue to contribute enough support to fund the development of a skilled workforce in Cambodia.

Vong Thida, a representative of Skills Development Hub (SDH), said that the day’s event provided opportunities for companies as well as students to learn more about the current job market.

“I see it as a good programme which presents the vocational training schools and encourages participation from students. It is an opportunity for us to provide additional knowledge and guidance to them and to find out about the key skills for the job market in Cambodia,” she said.

“From this event, I have a clear understanding about technical skills such as technology, electronics, architecture, as well as construction,” said Vorn Sopheaktra, a student of civil engineering at the National Polytechnic Institute of Cambodia.

He said the reason he chose an engineering career path was because he could see that the country is developing and constructing increasingly taller buildings and more ambitious infrastructure projects, all of which require engineers.

Heng Sok Vicheka, a third-year student at a private school, said she took electrical skills courses that focused on automation.

“Electrical skills are divided into three parts, and I chose automation to focus on because most of the production lines in the industry are automated and I think there are a lot of job opportunities that will open up as our country develops,” she said.

According to Samheng, in the last five years more than 200,000 trainees have received short-term and long-term training or apprenticeship training in the technical trade industry, handicrafts, services, tourism and agriculture.

He added that just prior to the end of 2020, the ministry launched a five year master plan for TVET development from 2021 to 2025, which budgeted about $493 million towards TVET and focused on the construction and improvement of physical infrastructure for TVET institutions, such as equipping training facilities with better equipment, strengthening leadership capacity and increasing the quantity and quality of technical and vocational skills in a gender inclusive manner.