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Skills Development Programme (SDP)

The Skills Development Programme (SDP) aims to increase the income and employment opportunities for disadvantaged young women and men in three rural provinces of Cambodia: Preah Vihear, Stung Treng and Kratie. To achieve this, the programme provides access to market-relevant skills training in occupational areas where there are job opportunities.

Working at a grass-roots level with provincial governments, training providers, enterprises and disadvantaged young women and men, SDP aims to contribute to the creation of an inclusive, relevant, qualitative and well-coordinated TVET-system nationwide.

This is an SDC-mandated project, implemented by Swisscontact in a consortium with INBAS.

The Project

The project is arranged into three intervention areas. Each Intervention Area is designed with a labour-market led approach. The training is set up to promote improved access to relevant skills for learners. The training programmes are developed with industries' input and the delivery follows principles of best-practice. That is, learners will learn occupational skills and knowledge, and have the opportunity to apply and refine these skills and knowledge in a real workplace environment.

Intervention Area 1: Dual Vocational Training

Dual Vocational Training combines training in a training centre with learning in an enterprise. The learners gain technical competencies and soft skills that qualify them as an entry-level worker in an occupation. This model requires enterprises' involvement where the learners can learn, practise and apply their occupational skills. Graduates receive a nationally recognised certificate. After the training, SDP supports the learners to find gainful employment through a 6-month post-training support programme.

Intervention Area 2: Hospitality Training

Hospitality training offers a range of training programmes designed to meet the needs of learners and the context:

  • A specially designed one-on-one coaching programme for owners and low skilled workers  offers training in hospitality skills tailored to the needs of rural hospitality establishments.
  • A full-time training programme offers specific training in hospitality occupations for unemployed, out-of-school youth. The training provides the learners with skills and knowledge to gain employment in entry-level positions. A part of the three months’ training programme, learners are placed in traineeships at hotels and restaurants to practice and apply their skills. The graduates are supported in finding employment after the training.
  • In an apprenticeship programme hotels and restaurants offer structured learning on the job for out-of-school and unemployed youth based on the “earn while you learn” principle.  To complement this practical training the apprentices regularly attend theoretical training sessions at a hospitality training school.

Intervention Area 3: Supporting Policy and TVET reform

This intervention area focuses on support to the TVET system in Cambodia. One of the main activities is the establishment of a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) mechanism. RPL is a competency assessment process that makes it possible that the skills that a worker has gained through work or life experience are formally recognised and aligned with a nationally recognised qualification level.

Additionally, this intervention area focuses on building capacity of the current TVET actors and provides opportunities to build a more sustainable and inclusive TVET system.


The project goal is to ensure that 70% of the training graduates are engaged in wage or self-employment with decent income.

To date, SDP has seen around 2,000 trainees enrolled in skills training, out of which 60% are female. 62% of the graduates from full-time vocational training in hospitality could be verified as wage employed six months after the training. In average, employed dual-vocational training and full-time hospitality graduates increased their income 300-500% after training. In addition, 450 private enterprises from 5 economic sectors in the target provinces signed agreements with SDP to provide skills training and to receive training to enhance their capacity.

Results as of 31 December 2018

  • 1,990: 1,370 for Dual Vocational Training (57% female), 620 for Hospitality (65% female).
  • 1,250 participants (60% female) have completed the trainings with completion rate of 85%.
  • Overall employment rate 6 months post training is 63%: 62% in Dual Vocational Training and 72% in Hospitality.
  • 650 participants (41% female) have participated in RPL tests.
  • 71% of the employed graduates of a Dual Vocational Training and Hospitality training graduates increased their income after training.
  • 85% of graduates working in the occupations for which they were trained reported that the skills acquired are either relevant or very relevant for the workplace.

Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
Hardturmstrasse 123
CH-8005 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 454 17 17
Fax +41 44 454 17 97
E-Mail info@STOP-SPAM.swisscontact.org