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Government seeks to prepare labour force ahead of increasing automation

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
Ith-Samheng
Labour Minister Ith Samheng. KT/ Pann Rachana

Labour Minister Ith Samheng today highlighted the importance of preparing Cambodia’s labour market to face challenges raised by the advancement of technology.

The Ministry of Labour today hosted an event in Phnom Penh to discuss the future of work with labour experts from the government and unions, and also UN resident coordinator Pauline Tamesis.

Mr Samheng said advanced technology may replace humans for various jobs in the future, noting that young Cambodians must upgrade their knowledge and learn new skills to prepare for a changing labour market.

He added that while the impact of technology on the labour market today is still small, the government is already preparing the country’s human resources to face upcoming challenges.

“Right now, the impact of technology on the labour market is not yet evident. So even though some sectors see a decrease in job demands, other sectors see an increase,” Mr Samheng. “However, we need to prepare for the future and the first step is to develop human resources with new skills for the digital era.”

He said that according to a 2016 study by the International Labour Organisation, the top five Asean countries at risk of automation over the next two decades include Vietnam, with 70 percent of the workforce facing possible job losses, followed by Cambodia with 57 percent, Indonesia with 56 percent, the Philippines with 49 percent and Thailand with 44 percent.

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