The SDC-mandated Skills Development Programme (SDP) is implemented in Cambodia through a consortium led by Swisscontact. The project is designed to increase the income and employment opportunities for disadvantaged young women and men in three rural provinces. One of the target provinces is Preah Vihear in the very north of the country. This is one of the poorest parts of Cambodia.
The Provincial Training Centre (PTC) in the province’s capital implements training courses under this project, preparing disadvantaged women and men for employment in occupations such as tailoring, beautician, mason, motorbike maintenance and small engine repair. In addition to the institutional training at the centre the participants also participate in traineeships at workplaces and receive support in finding employment.
Kubota, a Japanese producer of agricultural machinery, has been a strong partner in all these activities. Their dealership in Preah Vihear has hosted traineeships and provided employment for graduates. Recently, Kubota has taken the initiative to donate equipment to the Small Engine Repair course in order to assure that the training is practical and relevant for the needs of employers. The company has donated one engine and two walking tractors for the participants to work with. In addition, Kubota provided T-shirts and bags for all 90 SDC-supported learners at the PTC and all tools needed to maintain the donated machines. Kubota experts will also provide training to the instructors and participants to assure that they know how to operate and repair the tractors correctly. One of the workshops at the PTC is now called the “Kubota Technical Education Centre”.
The inauguration of this centre and the hand-over of the equipment was at the PTC presiding by provincial Vice Governor, Mr. Kong Vimean, the Managing Director of Kubota in Phnom Penh, Mr Chalermchai Kittibuntorn, the PTC Principal Mr. Taing Hul as well as all participants and Swisscontact staff took part. In his speech the Vice Governor expressed his appreciation for the SDP project and the value of Kubota’s contributions. He assured the continuing support of the government to the SDP and the PTC.