Transitioning from student to professional life can be a daunting experience. Often, young Cambodians who have completed their education and are preparing to begin the next phase of their lives are faced with many uncertainties during the process of seeking employment. Many are unsure about the career that best fits their personal interests, the soft and technical skills that employers seek, or how to prepare for job applications and interviews.
According to UNESCO Cambodia’s press release issued on Dec. 5, to help prepare youth for their future careers, the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (MLVT), the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS), UNESCO and its partners – including Smart Axiata and participating UN Agencies of the Decent Employment for Youth in Cambodia (DEY) – organised a study tour for learners of the Basic Education Equivalency Programme (BEEP) at the National Polytechnic Institute of Angkor (NPIA) in Siem Reap. Over 120 BEEP learners from 4 learning centres in Banteay Meanchey and Siem Reap provinces attended the study tour to learn about skills development and career employment.
Industry leaders from the private sector, representatives from TVET institutes and National Employment Agency (NEA) were invited to present at the study tour to share their knowledge and expertise with BEEP learners. The presentations covered five key topics – technical skills, career choices, employability and soft skills, identifying future employers and job applications – which are highly relevant to learners thinking about the field they want to specialise in and the kind of careers they want to build. Representatives from ILO, one of DEY’s participating UN agencies, also presented on youth rights at work.
During the opening speech, Mr. Kheng Khemra, Deputy Director-General of TVET at the MLVT congratulated BEEP learners on the successful completion of the required basic education equivalency and skills training programme. He added that, “BEEP has not only provided flexible learning pathways for lower secondary school dropouts to continue with further education and skills development, but it has also supported them to make the right career choices for decent employment.”
During the study tour, participants also had the opportunity to visit the campus of NPIA, to learn more about electrical engineering and auto mechanic tools. After the full-day event, learners have gained the knowledge and practical skills to make well-informed decisions about their field of specialisation and future careers.
As the flagship joint education programme implemented by the MLVT and MoEYS with UNESCO’s support, BEEP aims to address the issue of high dropout rates in Cambodia, especially in the lower secondary level. The programme is the only second-chance education programme in Cambodia for school dropouts to complete basic education. Learners who complete the programme receive a certificate equivalent to Grade 9 that is accredited by both ministries, which enables them to enrol in further skills training at TVET institutes or Technical High Schools.
With the continued financial support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and in-kind contributions from line ministries and private sector partners, the BEEP is expanding its geographical scope and reach new target groups of beneficiaries, including youth in rehabilitation centres and correctional centres, and return migrants. Since the official launch of the first learning centre in February 2019, over 1,700 learners in 14 provinces across Cambodia have benefitted from BEEP.
Following the success of this year’s study tour, UNESCO and line ministries are planning to organise larger study tours and career fairs for BEEP learners in other provinces in the coming years.
Source: Agency Kampuchea Press