I have improved my advocacy and communication skills that I had never had a chance to do so before.

Initial vocational education and training
Mr. Liengsysavanh Phetthala is currently in charge of skills development and employment at the Department of Labour and Social Welfare in Xieng Khouang Province. He was encouraged to join the group of Employment Support Services (ESS) coaches because it directly complements the mandate of his department. “The project also deals with labour issues which I like,” he said.

Being an ESS coach is a new and challenging experience for Liengsysavanh. “At first, learning to manage my time between my job and coaching was exceptionally challenging.” he said. It’s important to schedule your time effectively for coaching.” He was a bit nervous at first because he did not have the knowledge or experience of being a coach, but with the training as an ESS coach, his skills have improved.

“When I first started, I didn’t know how to explain the project’s objective to the beneficiaries. And sometimes I could not answer their questions or give them clear information.”

After receiving three blocks of trainings, he has learned how to better communicate with others, especially when answering questions about the project. “I have improved my advocacy and communication skills to a level I had never experienced before,” he said.

Liengsysavanh explained that ESS training is all about organizing activities, speaking skills, teamwork, and mutual support. “I can apply them to my work, and as a result of the training, I am able to communicate with confidence,” he said.

“I have never been a coach or a member of an organizing committee before, but I can say that this project encourages everyone to express their opinions to others.”

Liengsysavanh talks proudly about his relationship with other ESS coaches. “Everyone in the team is very supportive, we constantly consult and coordinate with each other,” he said. I was very fortunate to have a good teammate who really helped me.” Liengsysavanh still considers himself a novice coach and relies on his fellow coaches for advice.

"I have improved my advocacy and communication skills that I had never had a chance to do so before. "
- Liengsysavanh
Initial vocational education and training
Vocational Training and Employment Support Services in Laos
The VTESS project aims at vocational training and labour market insertion or re-entering of schooling of the main project beneficiaries, who are people between 15 and 35 years of age, have completed primary and/ or lower secondary education only (early school leavers), and are subjected to income poverty. The main objective of the project is to improve the income and, ultimately, the livelihood of its beneficiaries.