The government plans to open a vocational school next year as part of an effort to train millions of unskilled workers, officials said Tuesday.
“In this time of Cambodia [realizing] international globalization, the need [for] human resources is very large,” said Minister of Cabinet Sok An at a workshop to develop the school.
South Korea is helping fund the $26 million school with a loan agreement signed in 2002. The school plans to teach skills such as hotel management, cooking, electronics repair, design and construction.
The project seeks to transfer the Korean Vocational Training System, which helped develop South Korea’s industrial development, to Cambodia, said South Ambassador Lee Han Gon at the workshop.
“Superior technical manpower that [is] fostered and supplied by the school can be used as the generating power for Cambodia’s economic and social progress, and Cambodia will rise as the Mecca for cultivating high-quality human resources,” the ambassador said.
The government will fund 20 percent of the school’s costs, said Khun Ranine, project manager of the National Cambodia-Korea Vocational Training School Project. Officials plan for the school to offer training in 12 skill areas for 3,000 short-term students and 600 long-term students per year.
The school’s construction began last June in Phnom Penh’s Dangkao district and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Sok An estimated that 3.5 million of the country’s 5 million-strong labor force is unskilled.
About 200,000 people leave school and need jobs every year, he added.
Job opportunities will open up as a labor force of increasingly skilled workers attracts foreign investment, Lee Han Gon said.
“Through the cultivation of superior manpower, it is expected that there will be more foreign investment in Cambodia, and it will become easier for Cambodia to attract foreign enterprises,” he said.
Tuition fees for the school have not yet been determined. If all goes well, officials said, they may promote the school throughout the region.
“We will consider offering training to Myanmar or Laos,” Khun Ranine said.
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