The delegation was warmly welcomed by the NIEI Director and SDP Team Leader, who delivered key information on quality training activities and methodologies linking employment and career enhancement for disadvantaged youth. NIEI and SDP management emphasized that the promotion of entrepreneurship and technical training development will strongly contribute to the successful integration of young women and men into the Cambodia labour market. The delegation was composed by HE. Heinrich Schellenberg, Head of the Asia Pacific Division, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Kurt Kunz, Ambassador of Switzerland to ASEAN, Ms. Laetitia Coenca, First Secretary, ASEAN focal point, Embassy of Switzerland to Indonesia, Timor-Leste and ASEAN, and Ms. Alina Gäumann, Deputy Head of the Political and Economic Section, Embassy of Switzerland to Thailand accompanied by Mr. Markus Buerli, Director of Cooperation, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in Cambodia and Mr. Va Ros, National Programme Manager, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
The Royal Government of Cambodia defines the need to reform the TVET sector as a key issue among development priorities, aspiring to reach upper middle-income status by 2030. So far there are not enough skilled workers yet to meet the high demand of the growing economy, TVET offers are not aligned with the needs of the labour market and too many young people, especially from the provinces, lack opportunities to develop knowledge and skills for gainful employment.
The Skills Development programme (SDP) and the National Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (NIEI) partner up to offer vocational training and skills development to youth from remote provinces. SDP focuses on the target provinces Preah Vihear, Stung Treng, Kratie, Ratanak Kiri and Mondul Kiri, which belong to the ones with the highest poverty rates in the country to contribute overcome the existing regional disparities in socio-economic development and employment perspectives.
Up to now, 545 young women and men from the five target provinces have been mobilized by SDP to learn a profession at one of the TVET Centres of Excellence, including NIEI in Phnom Penh.
The Skills Development Programme (SDP) is a project of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The SDP phase 2 (2020 to 2024) is implemented by Swisscontact in a consortium with INBAS and in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (MoLVT) and the Ministry of Tourism (MoT). The programme works closely with the government at the national and the provincial levels and with partners such as the National Employment Agency, public and non-governmental training providers as well as companies and small enterprises in the hospitality and other sectors.