The Cambodia Garment Training Institute (CGTI) and the National Employment Agency (NEA) on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding that will make vocational training more widely available in Cambodia and help build up the local labour force.
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The agreement focuses on active cooperation between the two bodies to facilitate the dissemination of CGTI training courses through NEA’s communication channels. It will also make vocational training courses available to NEA employees.
CGTI is an initiative of the Garment Manufacturers of Cambodia (GMAC). The centre opened last year to increase competitiveness within the garment industry. It was financed with the help of a soft loan from the French Development Agency.
The MoU was signed at the Ministry of Labour by CGTI’s director Andrew Tey and Hong Cheoun, director of NEA. The ceremony was attended by Labor Minister Ith Samheng and GMAC’s president Van Sou Ieng.
Mr Samheng said at the ceremony that the agreement aims to enhance the local labour force, particularly in the garment sector.
“This agreement represents a great cooperation between the government and the private sector to improve the skills of the country’s labour force,” he said.
Andrew Tey told Khmer Times the partnership will prove particularly beneficial for high school students.
“CGTI and NEA will co-organised events in high schools to promote CGTI’s training courses, and inform students of career opportunities.
“This is a win-win partnership. NEA will help us promote and spread awareness of our vocational training courses. In exchange, NEA staff will be able to take our courses,” he said.
The institute already cooperates with Singapore-based TaF.tc, who, during CGTI’s initial years, is providing trainers and setting up courses to train locals so that they can eventually assume instructor positions.
According to Mr Tey, during the first six months of operations, CGTI has trained 626 students, mostly through short programmes. In 2017, 15 students earned diplomas at the institution and were placed in 12-month apprenticeships at factories under scholarships given by GMAC.
Mr Tey said Cambodia will still need at least five more years before its industry can move on to more technologically advanced levels of production, adding that courses at CGTI are helping the labour force adapt to higher levels of technology in the industry.