TVET Program Gets Fresh Funds to Boost Opportunities for Disadvantaged

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The FINANCIAL — A new loan of $15 million equivalent has been approved to scale up an ongoing Asian Development Bank (ADB)-assisted technical and vocational education training (TVET) sector development program which is overhauling the existing training system, to provide more opportunities for disadvantaged groups, including women and the poor.

The $15 million equivalent loan from Agence Française de Développement, to be administered by ADB, will provide supplementary support to upgrade nine additional provincial training centers, including workshops, dormitories and equipment. Initial ADB assistance of $30 million for the program, consisting of a $7 million policy-based loan and a $23 million investment loan, was approved in 2014, according to ADB.

“By financing the expansion and improvement of training centers an additional 34,000 trainees will get the opportunity to enroll in short courses and certificate level training programs at the centers over a 5-year period,” said Kimie Tanabe, Social Sector Economist in ADB’s Southeast Asia Department. “This fresh assistance will also be used to promote improved TVET instructors’ technical capacity and management skills, and to deliver more Cambodian Qualifications Framework Level 2-4 training courses.”

The program, which builds on earlier ADB support for general education and the TVET sector, aims to address gaps in access, quality, relevance and institutional capacity for technical and vocational training, to give disadvantaged groups, including young women and the poor, more opportunities to learn technical skills needed in the workplace.

Outputs under the program include support to establish a competency-based assessment and certification system, the introduction of a quality assurance system for TVET institutes, and the establishment of an instructor internship system for public TVET teachers to gain industry experience. Sector skills councils, made up of industry associations and large employers in four priority sectors—construction, auto mechanics, electrical works and manufacturing—are also being set up to help develop centers of excellence.

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The program also broadens planned social marketing campaigns to include parents and students at primary and secondary schools and also civil society organizations, while providing better information on job opportunities for skilled workers. It encompasses a skills survey and strengthens the TVET management information system so it can generate in-time labor market intelligence for the design of TVET sector strategies for skills courses and employment facilitation.

Many Cambodians, especially disadvantaged youth and women, cannot take part in the certificate TVET system due to low educational attainment and the grade 9 entry requirement for formal training. The program provides stipends to individuals from poor households identified under a government household support scheme. A gender action plan establishing quotas for females receiving training stipends will also help increase female enrollment and retention in formal TVET programs.

The program runs for about 5 and a half years with an expected completion date of December 2021.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region.  


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