Skills Development Programme

The overall goal of the Skills Development Programme (SDP) is for disadvantaged young women and men and low-skilled workers in ten rural provinces in the north of Cambodia (Preah Vihear, Stung Treng, Kratie, Mondulkiri, Rattanakiri, Pursat, Battambang, Pailin, Banteay Meanchey, and Oddar Meanchey) to gain access to decent employment and increased income. The programme pursues two main objectives: 1) support the Cambodian Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system to become more effective in the target provinces, 2) improve the employability and income of disadvantaged young men and women and low-skilled workers through technical skills, soft skills, and entrepreneurship skills.
Krong Stung Treng
Krong Preah Vihear
Krong Kracheh
Mondulkiri Province
Ratanakiri Province
Pursat Province
Krong Battambang
Pailin Province
Banteay Meanchey Province
Oddar Meanchey Province
Project duration
2020 - 2024

Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC

The Skills Development Programme (SDP) is a project of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The second phase of SDP from 2020 to 2024 is implemented by Swisscontact and INBAS 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 level and with partners such as the National Employment Agency (NEA) and the Skills Development Fund (SDF), public and non-governmental training providers as well as private companies and small enterprises in the hospitality and other sectors.

Geographic Focus

The project

SDP is structured into four intervention areas by

  • focusing on the quality improvement of Provincial Training Centers (PTCs) through a holistic and collaborative school development process;
  • fostering innovative approaches for skills development and developing solutions for underlying problems of the skills gaps and mismatches in the labour market;
  • providing labour market-relevant technical, soft and entrepreneurship skills training for poor and disadvantaged youth and linking beneficiaries to gainful (self) employment;
  • and industry-based hospitality training for low-skilled workers and capacity building for hospitality business owners and managers as well as trainers from Provincial Department of Tourism and the private sector.

Cross-cutting themes such as Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI), Conflict-Sensitive Project Management (CSPM), Environmental Protection, and Good Governance are mainstreamed into all interventions.

INTERVENTION AREA 1: TVET School Development
SDP plays a role as a facilitator to support TVET school development processes by offering technical assistance and (co-) financing of equipment and tools. Continuous policy dialogue with the governing bodies (MoLVT and NEA) is fostered to feed the lessons learned, feedback on challenges, and successes into the national system.

The TVET Innovation Lab offers a platform to analyse the labour market needs and constraints, create innovative solutions to enhance training and employment opportunities for unemployed and underemployed youth, pilot innovations, disseminate learning and institutionalise successful approaches of TVET.

INTERVENTION AREA 3: Training for Disadvantaged Youth
SDP collaborates with public and private training service providers to offer high-quality training and certification to disadvantaged youth to link them to gainful employment. The training and employment process is explained below:

  • Pre-training: Training offered to disadvantaged youth will be based on actual market demand.
  • All graduates are awarded a certificate at the end of the technical, soft skills and entrepreneurship training, enabling them to prove their qualifications, find (self-)employment, and potentially continue their studies.
  • Post-training: Training providers establish relations with the private sector and are informed about vacancies and options for traineeships. Graduates are linked with traineeship and employment opportunities.

INTERVENTION AREA 4: Hospitality Kampuchea (HoKa)
HoKa is based on a demand-led and industry-based training model. Low-skilled workers of the hospitality sector are eligible to participate in a hands-on training which offers then the theoretical background, practical and professional upskilling opportunities and a nationally recognized certification.
Owners and managers and the supervisory staff of hotels, guesthouses, resorts, restaurants, and cafes in the need of upgrading their in-house training processes provide input to the contents of the f curricula and participate in the upskilling courses offered by SDP. The (modular) courses cover technical skills, training didactics and methodology, and hospitality management.

Expected Results Phase 2 (2020-2024)

SDP aims to reach 12,550 beneficiaries throughout phase 2. Out of these 11,640 will be poor and disadvantaged youth and low-skilled workers benefitting from more effective and relevant delivery of TVET and 910 beneficiaries will be trainers, staff, and management of PTCs and other training providers, the National Employment Agency (NEA),  and managers, owners, and supervisory staff of hospitality and other businesses. They will benefit from capacity building in their respective areas of work.

Key results from Phase 1 (2016-2020)

The Skills Development Programme (SDP) of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) supported by the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (MLVT) and Ministry of Tourism (MoT), implemented by Swisscontact and INBAS in Cambodia completed its first phase on the June 30, 2020, after four years of successful implementation.

Project Partners



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Upskilling and Reskilling
HoKa Steering Committee celebrated success in training 4,106 disadvantaged youths and low-skilled workers in the hospitality sector
The Hospitality Kampuchea (HoKa) Steering Committee of the Ministry of Tourism proudly announced the successful training of 4,106 individuals, of whom 2,553 were female, during the Annual Stocktaking event held at the Cambodiana Hotel in Phnom Penh.
Upskilling and Reskilling
37 Hospitality Kampuchea (HoKa) Trainers Embarked on Professional Industry Placement Programme in Siem Reap
The Skills Development Programme (SDP) has launched the Professional Industry Placement (PIP) programme, providing 37 Hospitality Kampuchea (HoKa) trainers from 10 target provinces with a unique opportunity to gain practical work experience in standard hotels and restaurants in Siem Reap.
Upskilling and Reskilling
5th Steering Committee Meeting and Field Visits of the Skills Development Programme (SDP) Phase 2
13,275 (5945 women) disadvantaged youth, low-skilled workers, trainers, staff and management of schools and companies were trained through the Skills Development Programme (SDP) of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) until December 2023.