Bounthavy said that both the VTESS project and his school have the same goal of providing opportunities for new graduates. He added that the working relationship between the school and the businesses, as well as the Provincial Labour Department and the Provincial Chamber of Commerce, have improved once the project began.
“The IVET School has always formed connections with business owners in order to organize student internships and future employment.”
Bounthavy’s priorities at the IVET School are to improve the career assistance to students and to sustain the working connection between the school, students, and the private sectors.
He also ensures that students understand the importance of internships for their future job choices, and he hopes that they will like them.
Before sending students to their internships, a survey is conducted among Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The information from the survey is used to match the students’ skills and interests with a suitable MSME. After all relevant information has been gathered, Souliphan and his colleagues arrange for students to be placed in their respective enterprises. To ensure seamless and successful internships, the school visits relevant MSMEs to mobilize them.
Furthermore, if students do well during their internships, MSMEs are likely to hire them when they require new staff. "The internship is also a good way to give trainees a chance to get a decent job they can enjoy from the start," Bounthavy said.
Bounthavy sees internships as more than just a job preparation for students. “When selecting students for internships, we must consider not just their theoretical skills but also their practical skills, their interests, and motivation so that they are able to contribute to the work process. When this is the case, we consider this as a good fit for both students and businesses,” he said.
Bounthavy added, “Right now, I need to properly manage the added obligations with the internships and VTESS. In order to set an example for the students, I also aim to improve my own working skills as coordinator for the VTESS project and see this as my internship as well!"