Vocational Training and Employment Support Services in Laos

VTESS will be an important vehicle to support the build-up and strengthening of an inclusive vocational education and training system in Laos. The focus will be on the strengthening of the Integrated Vocational and Education Training (IVET) pathway in order to facilitate the school to work transition of early school leavers, to provide them with options for productive employment (wage and self-employment) and the opportunity to enroll in further education and training.

Project duration
2019 - 2023
Financed by
  • Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC

The project

The project pursues to achieve the overall goal of the project through three outcomes:

Outcome 1: The IVET system brings young men and women from disadvantaged groups on a path to become employable or re-enter the education system.

  • Development of a coherent legal basis consistent with the overall TVET system.
  • Definition of the financing modalities.
  • Selection of partner IVET schools.
  • Review, revision and development of relevant courses, curricula and learning material.
  • Capacity development of teachers and other related staff.
  • Training delivery to the target group.
  • Establishment of a system for regular tracing students.

Outcome 2: The employment support system (ESS) brings young men and women from disadvantaged groups who have graduated from IVET courses into employment or self-employment.

  • Development of a concept and approach for ESS for students in IVET schools.
  • Definition of the range of services.
  • Identification and selection of participating institutions and organisations.
  • Implementation of modular training for job coaches/career counsellors.
  • Pilot implementation of ESS with IVET students.

Outcome 3: The framework conditions for IVET Training and ESS are strengthened organisationally, institutionally and at systems level with a specific focus on quality and access.

  • Establishment of modality for supporting activities, initiatives and small projects for quality, organisational, institutional and systems development with a specific focus on relevance, access and quality.
  • Definition of the types and range of activities, initiatives and small projects to be supported.
  • Definition of the type of support (financial, capacity development, expertise)
  • Definition of the application and award procedures.
  • Implementation with partner organisations.

Target areas:
The focus will be IVET schools and ESS providers in 5 provinces located in the north, center and the south of the country.

Key implementing governmental partners:

Ministry of Education and Sports – MoES, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare – MoLSW.

Target groups:

  • Early school-leavers from peri-urban areas: young people (15-35 years) who have completed primary, but not lower secondary education, income poverty.
  • Wider: Teachers from IVET schools, staff from job centres or similar institutions (career counsellors, job coaches, community or youth workers, village facilitators, social workers.

Project partner

Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU)


Expected results:
  • 3’000 graduates of courses with a duration of 3 to 12 months  
  • 1'250 participants have either gone through full or partial coaching cycle  
  • Capacity of at least 40 IVET teachers strengthed
  • 50 ESS coaches trained


Initial vocational education and training
Bringing digital solutions into ESS training
From Oudomxay province, in northern Laos, Mr. Keo Phongmany works for nonprofit association called Learning for Development Association (LDA). He is passionate about community development, particularly for people with disabilities. Keo chose to be come an Employment Support Services (ESS) coach last year when he learned that the Vocational Training and Employment Support Services (VTESS) project of Swisscontact supports in creating job opportunities for people from disadvantaged groups.
Initial vocational education and training
IVET students graduate
The graduation ceremony for Certificate 1 students having completed their courses on Agriculture, Animal Raising, and Carpentry was held on 29 January 2021 at the Integrated Vocational Education and Technical (IVET) School of Xieng Khouang Province. These graduates were the first to complete training under the Vocational Training and Employment Support Services (VTESS) project.
2nd Steering Committee Meeting for VTESS Project
Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) and the Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation (Swisscontact) holds 2nd Steering Committee Meeting for the Vocational Training and Employment Support Services (VTESS) project