PHNOM PENH March 16: (Khmer Times) – CAMFEBA has declared that for Cambodian business entities to expand and prosper, it is imperative that education and training systems meet the productivity and innovations needs of business.
CAMFEBA added that BETWEEN 300,000 and 400,000 workforce were entering the labor market each year.
“Translating this demographic advantage into an economic advantage requires robust training education and training systems to be in place,” it said in its report for “Business Vision 2020.”
It adds that while employment growth in the economy will continue as the government implements plans to expand and diversify the economy by promoting industries such
as ICT and rice processing, a survey reveals that over 75 per cent of firms feel that skills shortages are negatively impacting firm’s growth trajectories.
Jobs generated by Cambodia’s our economy need to be filled by Cambodians, yet while, firms are able to find local workers to fill positions in light industries, such as manufacturing, positions requiring higher skills are frequently staffed by expatriate staff.
“Addressing this issue is especially important in light of further ASEAN integration: the survey found that nearly half of enterprises are concerned about the free flow of skilled labor throughout the region.”
CAMFEBA – Cambodian Federation of Employers & Business Associations, adds that their survey also fins that more than half of interviewed in the survey feel that the level of vocation education and training do not meet the expectation of the firms.
It strongly believes that full and genuine social dialogue based on responsible cooperation rather than confrontation is an important tool in sustainable enterprises.
“Developing a positive, collaborative working environment can help improve productive and innovation, while greater workplace stability benefits employers and workers alike.
It pointed out that tensions in the industrial relations (IR) environment hinder investment and undermine the garment industry’s reputation for adhering to international labor standards.
The turmoil in workplace relations that has been present for much of 2013 and into 2014 underscore the urgent need to develop Cambodia’s nascent system of social dialogue and workplace relations.
“It will take time to embed responsible and effective social dialogue practices and build solid systems and this remains a responsibility of all actors,” CAMFEBA says.
It adds that it strongly believes that a social dialogue process, such as a wage negotiation, when based on a firm empirical footing, can lead to higher quality and sustainable outcomes.
A former garment factory owner, T.K. Lee said that maybe it is time Cambodia looks at collective bargaining as a process of negotiations between employers and a group of employees through a single union for each industry rather than many unions for the same industry.
“This collective agreement is aimed at reaching agreements that regulate working conditions. The interests of the employees are commonly presented by representatives of a trade union to which the employees belong.
The collective agreements reached by these negotiations usually set out wage scales, working hours, training, health and safety, overtime, grievance mechanisms, and rights to participate in workplace or company affairs.”
The key, he adds is that the union (a single union for the garment sector for example) may negotiate with a single employer (who is typically representing a company’s shareholders) or may negotiate with a group of businesses, but not many unions negotiating with different agendas, especially if they are politicized.