The sweet taste of success! 

Upskilling and Reskilling
Thanks to vocational education and training, Heang Samnang transformed his life and is continuing to strive for his dreams. Without a complete education, Samnang never imagined he would have the opportunity to become a chef in a big restaurant. But, against all odds, he has achieved his childhood dream with the right attitude and by seizing training opportunities when they came about.

Samnang, 27 years old, comes from a poor family relying on subsistence agriculture for their livelihood in the province of Preah Vihear. He left school at grade 11 to find work to support his family. “I decided to search for employment opportunities, and fortunately, I found a low-paid job in a restaurant in Preah Vihear town. I started as a cook helper at the Green House restaurant”. Without cooking skills, Samnang struggled to perform many of the tasks at work and wanted to quit. But help his family, he stuck with it.

A life-changing training course

Luckily, he heard about a training opportunity from the officials from the Provincial Department of Tourism who came to his community. “The programme inspired me! I was so happy, because I wanted to become a chef. I knew that only further training would help me to fulfil this dream”.  With the support from his supervisor, Samnang decided to enrol in the vocational training course supported by the Skills Development Programme (SDP). “After completing the training, I felt more confident in my daily work. I gained more knowledge on cooking skills, proper hygiene practices and I got to know many new ingredients and dishes”, he added.

The ingredients of his success were hard work, flexibility, and being willing to learn. And there are reasons to congratulate him on his attitude, which set him up for success:  Samnang was promoted to being a chef in his current workplace! “I am so excited! The skills acquired through vocational training were essential for me to reach this level. I was able to earn more to support my family”.

Working towards a big dream

But his journey did not stop there. To upgrade his skills, Samnang recently completed another training course. “I strongly believe that only continuous learning and training can lead me to a higher level in my career. I started to understand other countries' cuisines and tastes through my recent training. I committed to continue to study and practice to become an ASEAN certified professional chef. Having my own restaurant and transferring my knowledge to the next generation are my big dreams- and only education can make them come true!”