The Cambodia Skills Development Centre (CASDEC) will hold an information session Friday at the University of Puthisastra about a new preparatory course in production management developed to help graduates find jobs in the garment sector.
CASDEC Executive Director Mona Tep said the course was a three-month intensive programme aimed at university graduates in management, engineering and similar disciplines.
“The successful participants will gain real management skills, attested by a certificate of accomplishment,” she said. “It will help them find positions with growth opportunities.”
The course, which is scheduled to begin in December, combines two months of theory with one month of practical experience in a CASDEC client factory. The factories had already expressed interest in hiring qualified graduates, Mona Tep said.
“In the end, we hope this will be a model for school-to-work training, combining theoretical and practical skills, internships, and that it can be replicated for other industries,” she said. “It will help Cambodia grow leaders.”
The garment sector accounts for more than 65 percent of all trade in Cambodia and offers well-paid careers, but factories struggle to locally find the management skills and production expertise needed, and usually hire foreigners to supervisory and top management positions. Mona Tep said.
A 2007 survey by HR Inc, the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia and CASDEC showed Cambodians hold fewer than 20 percent of all jobs in middle management and above.
However, interest has grown in recent years among factory owners in localising management, Mona Tep said.
Key reasons included the higher cost of employing foreigners, concerns over miscommunication and misunderstanding because most foreign supervisors do not speak Khmer, and a growing recognition by foreign investors that educated Cambodians can be effective in planning and managing.
Mona Tep said the course would be useful to anyone wanting to work in the manufacturing sector, not just in producing garments.
“The three-month certificate does not only offer a potential to be hired in the garment industry, it is also developing the basic skills of supervisor and production manager for any kind of manufacturing process,” she said. “As we all know, other industries will come, and this new pool of middle-management people that this course is training will become handy for the new investors.”
The information session will begin at 5pm.