Home » The Transformative Impact Of TVET On The Economic Development Of Cambodia

The Transformative Impact Of TVET On The Economic Development Of Cambodia

by Samheng Boros
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As Cambodia continues its rapid economic growth and development, the need for a highly skilled workforce has never been greater. Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) plays an absolutely crucial role in equipping our citizens with the practical knowledge and skills required to drive key industries, improve productivity, attract foreign investment, and ultimately elevate the prosperity of our entire nation.

We are living in an era of remarkable technological advancement that is reshaping economies and labor markets around the world. The skills needed to thrive in this fast-evolving landscape are practical, technical, and adaptable. TVET directly provides the hands-on training and real-world experience that enable workers to harness new technologies, operate sophisticated equipment, implement efficient processes, and nimbly respond to shifting industry needs. From construction to manufacturing to IT to hospitality and beyond, TVET empowers Cambodians to take on the most in-demand and indispensable roles across all economic sectors.

The benefits of robust TVET extend far beyond the individual workers receiving the training. By growing the pool of skilled labor in Cambodia, we make our nation vastly more attractive for international companies seeking to establish or expand operations here. A TVET-enabled workforce serves as a powerful magnet for foreign direct investment, which introduces new capital, know-how and economic dynamism. This investment in turn accelerates business and infrastructure development, trade growth, and the creation of still more skill-intensive jobs for our people in an upward cycle of economic progress.

Just as importantly, expanding access to quality TVET opportunities promotes social equity, poverty alleviation and sustainable development for Cambodia. Through TVET, we open more pathways for upward mobility, enabling Cambodians from all backgrounds to obtain stable, well-compensated jobs and build a better future for themselves and their families. As workers earn higher incomes and attain greater financial security, they are able to invest more in their own wellbeing and the education of their children, while also increasing their consumption and injecting more money into local economies. This is how we build a rising and more inclusive prosperity for all.

The Royal Government well understands the vital importance of TVET to Cambodia’s economic and social development. That is why we have made strengthening TVET a top national priority, as laid out in the Cambodia Industrial Development Policy 2015-2025 and the National Technical Vocational Education and Training Policy. We are working in close partnership with development partners, non-governmental organizations and the private sector to increase both the quantity and quality of TVET programs available throughout the country.

Since 2014, we have established new technical high schools dramatically expanding TVET access for our youth. Meanwhile, we are continually upgrading training equipment, curricula, and instructor capabilities to ensure these programs are aligned with current labor market needs and technology. Public-private collaboration has been key, with generous support from partners like the Asian Development Bank, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and others helping to amplify the reach and impact of these initiatives. The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training is also working hand-in-hand with employers to implement enterprise-based TVET and apprenticeship programs that provide Cambodians real-world work experience.

In November 2023, Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Moha Borvor Thipadei Hun Manet initiated the “TVET 1.5M” program aimed at providing technical and vocational education and training to 1.5 million youth. As of January 2024, over 20,393 young individuals have registered, with 7,007 being women. The program seeks to equip these youths with practical skills across various industries to enhance their employability.

While important progress has been made, there is still much work to be done to achieve our vision of a TVET-powered, skill-driven economy in Cambodia. We must redouble efforts to raise TVET quality standards across the board, further engage industry in the design and delivery of programs, increase the flexibility and responsiveness of the system, and foster a culture that celebrates and takes full advantage of the opportunities afforded by technical and vocational training. Rest assured that the Royal Government will continue to lead and invest in the cross-cutting development of TVET as an utmost priority.

Ultimately, the purpose of economic development is to uplift the lives of our citizens and future generations. Nothing is more important to achieving that goal than empowering Cambodians with the knowledge and skills to drive our economy and country forward. That is the promise and power of TVET – to put the tools of advancement directly in the hands of our people. With the continued strong commitment of the Royal Government and all stakeholders, I am confident that we will fully harness the potential of TVET to build a brighter, more dynamic, and more prosperous future for all Cambodians.

About the Author: H.E. Samheng Boros, an inspiring Minister attached to the Prime Minister, is a passionate advocate for youth empowerment. With a deep admiration for sports, education, technology, and innovation he serves as the honorary president of The Better Cambodia, leading positive change and fostering a brighter future for the nation.

Photo Credit: Khmer Times

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