Policy Priorities for a More Responsive Technical and Vocational Education and Training System in Cambodia
This policy brief identifies binding constraints and makes recommendations to promote a technical and vocational education and training (TVET) system that is more responsive to Cambodia’s labor market needs.
The findings are drawn from a 2013 labor market survey of the skills needs of 222 large enterprises in five provinces: Battambang, Kampot, Siem Reap, Svay Rieng, and Takeo; as well as the capital Phnom Penh. The study was the first-ever attempt at assessing employers’ skills needs at provincial and enterprise levels. The findings and recommendations were confirmed at a stakeholder consultation in June 2016. This brief is intended to provide TVET policy makers and planners with an analysis of education and workplace challenges; options to address the challenges in terms of local context, capacity, and priorities; and a menu of recommendations and suggestions for further research.
- The current skills mismatch, shortage, low education, and low skills in the workforce pose major constraints to diversifying the economy and enhancing competitiveness. The country’s education and training system needs to produce an adaptable workforce with professional skills and workplace behaviors.
- Despite a clearly structured education and training system, meeting the demands of industry is a challenge given high general education dropout rates, low technical and vocational education and training graduation rates, curriculum gaps, and not enough industry engagement in technical and vocational education and training.
- Technical and vocational and university graduates are increasingly more prepared for entry-level jobs than those who complete general education, but basic skills and life skills are still lacking. This results in a workforce that is not performing to satisfactory industry standards.
- The government and private sector will need to focus on:
- skills development by ensuring lifelong learning through flexible pathways that are gender inclusive;
- bottom-up planning, which improves the quality and relevance of teaching andclearning; (iii) attracting youngcpeople to the technical and vocational stream;
- improving industry engagement; and
- strengthening coordination among stakeholders at the national and training institution levels in the short, medium, and longer term.