Cambodia Needs to Strengthen Professional Skill

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By Sok Lak

Rapid growth and expansion of the urban labor market in Cambodia has draw people in low skilled jobs at the expense of education and training and concealed underlying structural problems in educations and skill information.
Cambodia can no longer rely on an abundant supply of inexpensive skilled and semi-skilled workers to propel its economic development. The country’s future will rely on a pool of skilled workers to sustain, diversify and expand its current base. Planning for the future needs of Cambodia’s industrial sectors, however, needs to begin now in both education and industry to produce the quality and quantity of skills that will be needed.
A 300,000 new labor force every year enters labor market, but most of them lack of professional skills that meet the requirement of private sector and provide equal benefit from the growing economy, so there is a need to increase the professional skills training, Sophie Baranes, Deputy Country Director said during at briefing on the findings and recommendations of a report on Human Capital Implications of Future Economic Growth in Cambodia.
She stressed that existing of education institution and curricula in Cambodia are sometimes unresponsive to the needs of the human resource’s needs in private sector as well as public sector. The gaps of education, training and the appearance of huge development have become major constant in Cambodia economic development, diversification and poverty reduction.
“In order to be success and sustain a sustaining a program of grading and higher education reform and planning the future need too, Cambodia needs a systematic and coordinative effort of government, educational institution, private sector and all partners to produce required quality and quantity of skills.”
H.E. Hav Ratanak, Deputy Secretary General of Supreme National Economic Council (SNEC), said that the Royal government of Cambodia play a great greatly role in development of important resources from 2000 to 2010 while the education budget increased by eight times. After global crisis, government established a special fund for education and 40,000 unemployed workers receive vocational training. The fund continues to play its role and constantly provide training to young people without jobs.
He added that human development is a priority for the government to do, but it needs the involvement and cooperation from relevant institution and all development partners.
Dr. Satish Mishra, author of the report, said that the most important aspect of future policy on human development is to adapt mechanisms to integrate long term and short term priorities.
Some recommendations of report in short time and long term report in the needs to improve conventional training to increase soft and hard skills, ensure adequate finical backing, increase flexibility and modularization of training, government institutional reform and higher education reform.   
The report noted that Cambodia’s labor force growth is 22% while Lao is 25%, a growth rate is higher than average growth rate in ASEAN which is over 14%.
Source: The Southeast Asia Weekly, August 14-20, 2011/Vol. 5, Issue 33, Page 5

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