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Substantial Impact of MEF Funded Skills Training Programs on Cambodian Workers

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The Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) of Cambodia has played a significant role in advancing the capabilities of the nation’s workforce through its Skills Development Fund (SDF). Initiated in 2018 with a projection to continue until 2024, the program has been lucrative for the nation’s human capital development. Recent data revealed by Han Ratanak, Senior Marketing Officer of SDF, disclosed that an impressive number of 28,985 Cambodians have reaped the benefits from the program.

This pivotal update came during the ‘HoKa Road Map 2024-2028’ presentation, an event presided over by Tith Chantha, Permanent Secretary of State of the Ministry of Tourism (MoT), along with distinguished personnel such as Christian Volker Ide, Team Leader of Skill Development Programmes (SDP), and Pak Sokhom, Secretary of State of MoT and Chairman of the HoKa Steering Committee.

The SDF, with judicious assessment, selected 134 projects out of a total of 297 submissions and allocated approximately $22.05 million for training initiatives. This substantial investment in human resource development illustrated the MEF’s commitment to broadening economic opportunities for Cambodians, including 9,531 female participants, who represent 33 percent of the total beneficiaries.

Delving into the details of the program’s structure, Ratanak elucidated that critical sectors such as construction, manufacturing, tourism, digital technology, the automotive industry, and other in-demand skills were the focal points. The participants included employees from large firms, small and medium enterprise (SME) staff, SME owners, and trainers.

“The funding covered diverse program needs, ranging from instructor fees to training materials, utilities, and administrative costs. This was made possible through collaborative financial efforts involving SDF, various enterprises, and the trainers themselves,” said Ratanak.

The efficacy of the program was demonstrated by the post-training results. About 88 percent of the graduates secured employment with an average salary of $246 per month, which marks a significant 20.5 percent increase over the minimum wage of $204 per month established by the Royal Government of Cambodia earlier this year.

The distribution of the training budget reflects the strategic focus on modern sectors: the digital sector consumed 29 percent, tourism was allocated 22 percent, construction took up 15 percent, with manufacturing at 14 percent, and the remaining 20 percent was distributed to other domains.

Active participation from various sectors amplified the success of the program. Financial contributions stemmed from 353 enterprises, 50 training providers, and 16 business associations, including high-profile names like RMA Group, Toyota, and the Cambodia Women Entrepreneurs Association (CWEA).

Outlined in the overarching objectives of the MEF, the SDF aspires to be recognized as the leading platform for sustainable skills development. It aligns with the national vision for economic progress toward 2030 & 2050, focusing on catalyzing productive partnerships between industry and training entities.

Hosted at the Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence, the event witnessed the assembly of various industry leaders and stakeholders. Among them were Chhay Sivlin, President of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA), Chuob Ratana, Director of Tourism Development Planning Department, Saya Marta, CEO of the ATP Consultant Co Ltd, and Horn Raksmey, Manager of the Cambodia Restaurant Association (CRA), each embodying the collaborative spirit that drives the nation’s workforce development.

Source: Khmer Times

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