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
The VTESS project conducted the Project Steering Committee (PSC) combined with the Central Project Implementation Committee (CPIC) on 10th May 2022 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Vientiane. Strict Covid prevention measures were put in place. 
The meeting was chaired by Mr. Nouphanh Outsa, Director General of DTVET/MoES, and co-chaired by Mr. Christian Engler, Deputy Director for Cooperation of SDC. The meeting was attended by a total of 70 plus participants from central as well as from provincial level of the 5 project provinces. 3 participants joined online.

The objective of the meeting was to present and discuss the project progress 2021 and the plan for 2022 and to approve the project report and the plan. The VTESS Team Leader and the Component Managers presented the report and the plan. In addition, the findings of the Mid Term Review (MTR) of the Project were also presented and discussed. The MTR was delayed because of Covid. The MTR was commissioned by SDC and conducted during January to March 2022 to Nils Gardek and Sunnti Duangtavanh who also presented the findings at the meeting. The Project commissioned a tracer study for C1 graduates of the 1st training batch to Laos Social Research (LSR). The tracer was conducted during September to November 2021. The findings of this tracer were also presented at the meeting by the MRM officer of the VTESS project and discussed.
Call for Expression of Interest to become a Project Partner for Employment Support Services
Initial vocational education and training
“I want people from disadvantaged groups to find a job.”
Mr. Keo Phongmany works for the Learning for Development Association (LDA) in Oudomxay Province. He is passionate about community development, particularly for people with different disabilities.