SDP - Skills Development Programme

Project completed

Skills Development remains high on Cambodia’s national agenda. Switzerland will scale up its support to youth in rural poor areas to access skill development, equipping them with relevant skills to access employment and improve their incomes. Swiss expertise will also contribute to improve the Technical and Vocational Education and Training system to be more inclusive and strengthen its implementation in collaboration with the private sector to respond to labour market needs.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Vocational training
Employment & economic development
Women’s equality organisations and institutions
Vocational training
Employment creation
Basic life skills
Industrial policy
01.07.2020 - 30.06.2024
CHF  10’000’000

Skills mismatch and skills shortages are a major challenge in Cambodia. Young women and men do not have relevant skills and knowledge responding to market needs. Quality and curricula of Technical and Vocational Education and Training delivery in particular in the rural areas, are not oriented to the labour market. The capacity of teachers is still low. Collaboration and coordination between the public TVET actors and the private sector remain weak. A majority of workers are low skilled employees with low education background and never having received any training. There is a demand especially in the hospitality sector in the target provinces to upgrade the skills of workers, many of them women. However small and informal businesses do not have the capacity to provide more systematic and good quality in-house training to their staff.

The current COVID epidemic results in short-term consequences for training delivery and especially the tourism sector. It will also have medium-and long-term socio-economic effects. However these are not yet clear. Ongoing assessment of the situation is necessary to respond to the challenges of COVID at all three levels of the proposed project: system, institutions, people.  

Objectives Disadvantaged young women and men and low-skilled workers have gained access to decent employment  and increased income.
Target groups

Primary target groups are

1.    disadvantaged young men and women with low levels of education

2.    low-skilled workers who wish to upgrade their skills and gain formal recognition.

Secondary target groups are trainers / instructors and management staff of public TVET providers and other government institutions and instructors, managers, owners and supervisors from the private sector. 

Medium-term outcomes

1.    The Cambodian TVET system is more effective in target provinces; 

2.    Disadvantaged young men and women and low-skilled workers have increased their employability; 

3.    Government institutions have improved institutional capacity to develop an inclusive TVET and monitoring system.


Expected results:  

1.1    Provincial training centres, TVET centres and companies have improved their training delivery;

1.2    Innovative approaches for TVET delivery are identified and delivered in partnership with the Skills Development Fund and other partners;

2.1    Disadvantaged youth are more employable through the acquisition of improved relevant technical and soft skills; 

2.2    Trainers and assessors at provincial level are capacitated to deliver industry-based hospitality training;

2.3    Low-skilled workers improve their professional knowledge and skills through industry-based hospitality training

3.1    Improved capacity of TVET actors to elaborate TVET law and development M&E system TVET

3.2    Research to support TVET policy reform and delivery

Results from previous phases:  

-    4,200 disadvantaged youth and low-skilled workers (F: 50%) engaged in various labour market oriented training. 3,300 trainees (F: 49%) have improved their employability, gaining access to employment or improving their income;

-    More than 500 cooperative agreements signed between vocational training schools and enterprises for TVET implementation and delivery in 5 sectors;

-    18 training programmes in 4 sectors (mechanic, electricity, construction and hospitality) approved. They are inclusive regarding gender and ethnicity. 24 curricula in 4 sectors developed in collaboration with private sector according to national TVET qualification standards. Assessment instruments for Recognition of Prior Learning in 11 occupations developed in collaboration with private sector.

-    665 (F: 170) teachers and assessors enhanced their professional capacities and thereby improve the delivery of TVET; 

-    Increased dialogue between government and private sector on TVET; $

-    Targeting a poor quality TVET system in poor rural provinces for poor people requires flexibility with a mix of interventions and approaches. Original targets had to be reduced. Strategies to increase systemic outreach are necessary. To get the TVET system more inclusive regarding gender is very challenging. 

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Foreign academic and research organisation
Private sector
Swiss Academic and Research Institution
Swiss Non-profit Organisation
  • Foreign private sector South/East
  • Research Organisation of South East
  • Swisscontact
  • University of Zurich

Other partners
Swisscontact (lead) in consortium with Inbas; follow up mandate based on a tender for phase 1.
Coordination with other projects and actors

-    Decent Employment for Youth in Cambodia (SDC)


-    Skills Development Fund (ADB/AFD)

-    ADB/AFD TVET SDP project 

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    10’000’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    9’469’542
Project phases Phase 3 01.07.2024 - 30.06.2028   (Current phase)

Phase 2 01.07.2020 - 30.06.2024   (Completed)

Phase 1 01.05.2014 - 30.06.2020   (Completed)