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Closing the soft skills gap in Cambodia’s youth

Nov 12, 2020

Soft skills are more important than ever as young Cambodians have been hard hit by COVID-19 whilst having to adapt to the ever-changing world of work. The ILO's Supporting Soft Skills Development for Cambodian youth project coordinated a Soft Skills workshop in Mondulkiri, Cambodia, so young people can be well-equipped for their careers.


The ILO, supported by the Cambodia Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports’ (MoEYS) Department of Youth Centre Management, conducted a three-day workshop for 40 Cambodian youth on cultivating soft skills. These practical, interactive and activity-based modules included lessons in self-awareness, team work and problem solving.


The pandemic is at risk of widening pre-existing inequalities across Cambodia and the Asia-Pacific. Majority of the participants at the workshop were women, of which two were indigenous. The R4B modules specifically targets vulnerable youth to empower them in creating their own businesses and closing crucial inequality gaps.


The workshop was facilitated by Shouly Chann, a national project coordinator of the ILO, and it was joined by Souyeth Kret, a youth intern of Liger Leadership Academy. Souyeth presented on “The Gaps of Soft Skills among Youth Cambodians” to MoEYS officials and highlighted her experiences on R4B trainings and its importance  for developing knowledge that help young people perform at their jobs, create meaningful relationships and adapt to the ever-evolving labour market.

The need for soft skills to be recognized and endorsed in school is still very much present around the world. We are lucky to have our government’s support to implement such training for our youth. Spending months piloting the modules and writing my report on soft skills was one thing, but experiencing the birth of an innovative and cutting edge curriculum is inspiring and feels almost unreal.


Souyeth Kret, youth intern of Liger Leadership Academy

In order to be flexible to COVID-19 restrictions, the participants will continue their learning journey online in the next few weeks, where they will take on the vision setting module. Blended learning has become increasingly common in skills development, and the R4B participant-driven approach will continue to be engaging through a lens.


In the future, the MoEYS and ILO look forward to expanding the R4B programme across Cambodia, starting from Kampong Chhnang, Takeo, Pailin, Ratanakiri and Preah Vihear province.


This project is supported by the government of Japan through ILO/Japan Fund for Building Social Safety Nets in Asia and the Pacific (SSN Fund).


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