Cambodia-Swisscontact Provide Vocational Skills Training to Those Serving in Tourism in 05 Provinces

(Phnom Penh): Swisscontact Organization has been supporting the Cambodian Royal Government in implementing a tourism vocational training project for the master trainers and those who are serving in the tourism sector in the 05 provinces, including Pursat, Battambang, Pailin, Oddar Meanchey, and Banteay Meanchey provinces with a duration of 4 years (2021-2024).

The support has been done through the Hospitality Kampuchea Training Program (HoKa), having a Memorandum of Understanding between the Swisscontact Organization and the Ministry of Tourism, with the Hoka Project Steering Committee as the main staff. The Official Signing Ceremony on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was conducted in the Afternoon of November 16th, 2022, at the office of the Ministry of Tourism, under the presence of His Excellency Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism, and Mr. Rajiv Pradhan, Country Director at Swisscontact in Cambodia.

His Excellency Park Sokhom, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Tourism, said that the Hospitality Kampuchea Training Program (Hoka) would contribute to the Cambodian Royal Government in providing vocational training for young men and women, and low-level experts in above target provinces to obtain decent jobs and increase incomes inconsistent with a roadmap on tourism rehabilitation and promotion in and after COVID-19 crisis, as well as contribute to strengthening the ministry’s skilled officials capacity building at both national and sub-national levels by forming human capitals for sustainability in tourism vocational training.

H.E. Park Sokhom continued that for 04 years, from 2021 – 2024, this project would provide training to 150 master trainers in tourism and at least 780 low-skilled workers across the above five provinces.

His Excellency Chuob Ratana, Director of the Department of Tourism Development Planning and Head of the Secretariat of the Hoka Project Management Committee, confirmed further that the decision to select these five provinces is due to three main points:

  1. Thanks to the period of the Covid-19 crisis, those serving in tourism got their jobs suspended, some of them immigrated to work overseas – particularly in the provinces bordering Thailand. When tourism gets recovery, there are also some businesses opening their operations, so skilled workers are needed to return to work, but many of them seemingly lost their skills in tourism. This point is a reason for providing them with training to enable them to regain good skills.
  2. After the recovery of the tourism sector, it has been seen the reopening of business bases and new businesses are also remarkably opened, in which the trends in visiting by tourists is also much at target provinces, located surrounding Tonle Sap Lake – in particular Siem Reap, Battambang, and Pursat provinces, act. Therefore, it is necessary to increase the number of tourism skilled workers to meet the growing needs.
  3. In the past, Swisscontact Organization’s training projects were also not too many implemented at the provinces, mostly implemented in the northeast; so Swisscontact wants to increase training in the provinces around the Tonle Sap and the northwest.

Should be informed that, in the above ceremony, the tripartite signing ceremony on the agreement to implement the Hoka Cambodia Hospitality Training Program was also included between Hoka Project Steering Committee of the Ministry of Tourism, Swisscontact Organization, and departments of tourism of the 05 target provinces by focusing on the organization of action plans budget plans for 03 years (2021 – 2024) to boost the hospitality training on the priority skills of the provinces, including Front Office, Housekeeping, Foods and Beverages Service, Chef, Coffee Making, and community – based tour guide as well.

Be noted that, Hospitality Kampuchea Training Program (Hoka) is a composition of the Skill Development Program (SDP), with financial assistance from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), project implemented by the Swisscontact Organization, with support from the ministry of tourism through Hoka Project Steering Committee to do training on hospitality skills to young men and women, low-level experts, business owners, and tourism communities at the 05 provinces in the northeast, and through this signing ceremony, the project will expand the scope of training to five more provinces around the Tonle Sap Lake. As of the third quarter of 2022, the Hoka Project Steering Committee has trained a total of 1,123 tourism professionals (745 females) in housekeeping, front office, food, and beverage service, chef and coffee-making skills,  with close collaboration with Swisscontact Organization and the provincial departments of tourism of the project targets, and has been expanding relationship with the main partners include Skill Development Foundation (SDF), International Labour Organization (ILO), and UNIDO, act.