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SDC, UN join effort to promote youth employability

Som Kanika / Khmer Times Share:
Director of SDC Carin Salerno (Right), Labour Minister Ith Samheng (Centre) and UN Resident Coordinator Pauline Tamesis (Left), sign the official agreement for the second phase of the programme. KT/Tep Sony

The United Nations in Cambodia (UNC), in partnership with the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC), launched the second phase of the “Decent Employment for Youth in Cambodia” programme yesterday at the Ministry of Labour.

The programme offers drop out students and vulnerable young people with innovative learning packages; including technical, entrepreneurial, career guidance and soft and hard skills training.

The effort is to ensure that drop-out students and vulnerable young people are able to improve their employability and compete in the labour market while supporting the government and economy in the recovery from COVID-19.

Minister of Labour Ith Samheng said: “In these times of turmoil, I am pleased to see our country coming together with international stakeholders to help and support vulnerable young Cambodians to overcome their challenges and build a brighter future.”

Around 170,900 youths, of which half are female, are set to benefit from competencies development initiatives, basic education equivalency and literacy, entrepreneurship and enterprise development training and support initiatives, employment services and youth rights at work programmes.

UN Resident Coordinator, Pauline Tamesis said: “Cambodia’s response and recovery from the economic and social impact of the pandemic is an invaluable opportunity to unleash digital transformation with a skilled, empowered and resilient young population.”

“The 160,000 young Cambodian women and men entering the job market every year will need more than ever to be equipped with the skills, competencies and the mindset to thrive,” added Ms Tamesis.

With a combined contribution of $4 million from SDC and $4.8 million from the four UNC agencies (UNICEF, UNESCO, UNIDO and ILO), the government and private sector, this four-year programme will benefit from the involvement of the private sector, including the Cambodian Federation of Employers and Business Associations (CAMFEBA), in the mission to facilitate young people’s school-to-work transition and contribute to reducing the skills mismatch in Cambodia.

Carin Salerno, SDC Director of Cooperation said: “The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation is pleased to join forces and renew our partnership with the Royal Government and the UNC to assist young women and men in the country to be better prepared for their future careers, especially among vulnerable people.”

“Vocational skills development and decent employment remain the priorities of Switzerland’s international cooperation,” she added.

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