The Skills Development Programme (SDP) of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), implemented by Swisscontact with consortium partner INBAS concluded its first phase in June 2020 after four years of successful implementation. SDP has supported vocational skills development, leading to better income and employment opportunities, for disadvantaged young women, men, and indigenous people from three target provinces (Kratie, Stung Treng, and Preah Vihear), and has contributed to the promotion of an inclusive, relevant, qualitative, and well-coordinated vocational training system throughout the country.
At the national level, the programme partnered, among others, with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs. The provincial Women’s Development Centres (WDC) were outstanding partners providing quality training including technical skills, soft skills, and entrepreneurial skills training to target beneficiaries. Young women and men 15 to 30 years of age were eligible for training at the centre.
The role of the WDCs in SDP was to carry out vocational training courses in various occupations including Beautician, Tailor, Wedding Beautician, Nail Beautician, and Barber. Besides, the centres also provided support for trainees such as accommodation, food, access to health services as well as technical and business plan counseling for those who were keen on setting up their own businesses. Also, SDP has greatly supported in the awareness-raising within the community to reach out to maximum youth at districts and communes level.
The following key results were achieved: 514 (478 women, 93%) enrolled in vocational skills training. Among those, 417 (391 women, 94%) graduated. 285 (269 women) found employment, among those 93 (83 women) became self-employed. The graduates earned 70% higher income within six months after training with increment up to 420%. A total of 50 trainers (35 women) received training to strengthen their capacity.
To thank the centers for successfully implementing the programme over the past 4 years, SDP organised handover ceremonies of training materials, tools, and equipment for the WDCs from the three target provinces to support the centres' training activities in the future.