Cambodia’s attempts to transition its economy from a low-skilled, labour-intensive growth model to a skills-driven one are set to receive a boost following the approval of a $60 million loan by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The loan will see the facilities and equipment of five technical training institutes (TTIs) around the country upgraded to meet the demand for higher skilled workers in four priority sectors: manufacturing, construction, electricity, and electronics.
The Skills for Competitiveness Project (SCP) aims to help produce 18,000 qualified technicians, 28 per cent of whom will be women, while a further 360 workers will undergo upskilling and reskilling through 18 work-based lending programmes.
Ranked 110 out of 140 economies in the 2018 Global Competitiveness Report (GCR), a shortage of skilled labour for technical roles is severely constraining economic growth and the country’s attempt to modernise its fledgling industrial sector.
Yumiko Yamakawa, ADB education specialist for Southeast Asia, said “having a highly skilled labour force is essential for a country like Cambodia, which has a fast-growing economy and an expanding workforce.
Focus on four high-growth sectors
“The ADB loan will focus on improving the skills of workers employed in high-growth sectors to fuel the country’s development. We are also making sure that all stakeholders, especially the government and the private sector, are working together to boost worker skills.”
The loan will also see the expansion of the pilot skills development fund, an innovative model aimed at increasing and incentivising industry investment in skills development in Cambodia. It is expected training opportunities will be provided for more the 3,500 people, at least 25 per cent of who will women.
Additional focus will also be placed on developing the capacity of government agencies to strengthen the management of the fund, and in providing support for the establishment of a permanent new agency by 2024.
The five TTIs to participate in the SCP are the Battambang Institute of Technology (BIT), the Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC), the National Polytechnic Institute of Angkor, (NPIA) the National Technical Training Institute (NTTI) for TVET Park, and the Regional Polytechnic Institute Techo Sen Svay Rieng (RPISVR).
Established in 1966, the ADB is owned by 68 members. Committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty, in 2018 it made commitments of new loans and grants totalling $21.6 billion.
Feature photo Asian Development Bank
- Government seeks to prepare labour force over automation (Khmer Times)
- Help requested for Industry 4.0 labour (The Phnom Penh Post)
- Cambodia’s failing education system (The Asean Post)
- Ministry supports domestic workers (Khmer Times)
She commenced as an intern at AEC News Today and was appointed as a junior writer/ trainee journalist on April 2, 2018
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