Skills Development Programme

The overall goal of the Skills Development Programme (SDP) is for disadvantaged young women and men and low-skilled workers in five rural provinces of Cambodia (Preah Vihear, Stung Treng, Kratie, Mondul Kiri and Ratanak Kiri) to gain access to decent employment and increased income. The programme pursues two main objectives: 1) The Cambodian Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system will be supported to become more effective in the target provinces, 2) Disadvantaged young men and women and low-skilled workers will improve their employability and income through technical skills, soft skills and entrepreneurship skills.

SDP is an SDC-mandated project and 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), public and non-governmental training providers as well as private companies and small enterprises in the hospitality and other sectors.

Stung Treng, Cambodia
Preah Vihear, Cambodia
Project duration
2020 - 2024
Financed by
  • Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC

The project

SDP is structured into four intervention areas, 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 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), Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), 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 the TVET school development processes by offering technical assistance and (co-) financing of equipment and tools. A continuous policy dialogue with the governing bodies (MoLVT and NEA) will be held to feed the lessons learned, challenges, and successes into the national system.


SDP supports the TVET Innovation Lab to analyse the labour markets needs and constraints, create innovative solutions to enhance training and employment opportunities for unemployed and underemployed youth, pilot the Innovations, disseminate learnings and institutionalise successful approaches.

INTERVENTION AREA 3: Training for Disadvantaged Youth

SDP collaborates with public and private training service providers to offer high-quality training to disadvantaged youth and to certify and 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.
  • During Training: All graduates are awarded with a certificate at the end of the market-relevant technical, soft skills and entrepreneurship training, enabling them to prove their qualifications 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. Owners and managers, and the supervisory staff of hotels, guesthouses, resorts, restaurants, and cafes needing to upgrade their in-house training processes, will support the design of curricula and participate in the capacity building offered by SDP. The (modular) courses will cover technical skills, training didactics and methodology, and hospitality management. Hospitality business owners, managers, and supervisors will have the opportunity to learn about human resources and financial management, contents, and application of the labour law, etc. The training will also include exposure visits to bigger hotels and restaurants and guest speakers from reputable hospitality schools in the country.

Project partner



SDP will reach 12,550 beneficiaries throughout phase 2, out of which 11,640 will be poor and disadvantaged youth benefitting from more effective and relevant TVET delivery. Out of the total, 910 beneficiaries will be trainers, staff and management of PTCs, the National Employment Agency (NEA) and other training providers who will benefit from capacity building in their respective areas of work. This includes managers, owners and supervisory staff of hospitality and other businesses.


Learning how to cook…. online?!
The Skills Development Programme (SDP)​ recently presented its experiences in providing cooking training through an e-learning modality during the COVID19 crisis in a webinar titled “Tourism in times of COVID19: good practices on innovation and digitalization”.
Initial vocational education and training
Having Skills is Happiness! 
Thanks to vocational education and training, Rany Chun is much happier in life. Enjoy her inspiring story on how she left behind the hardship of her childhood and found happiness becoming a seamstress and shop owner. “Without these skills I have, I don’t know what my life would have looked like. I would have become a labourer”,  says 32-years old Chun Rany sitting in her own tailor shop in Talabarivat district, Stung Treng province.
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