Cambodia and UN step up efforts to promote Decent Employment for Youth

A joint programme will help school-to-work transition of young women and men in Cambodia.

Press release | 01 June 2020

Phnom Penh, (ILO News) – The Royal Government of Cambodia and the United Nations in Cambodia in partnership with the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC), launched the second phase of a joint programme to promote decent employment for youth and reduce inequalities in the country.

The programme offers out-of school and vulnerable youth with innovative learning packages to help them access quality employment. Packages include technical; entrepreneurial; soft and on-the-job skills as well demand-driven career guidance. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the programme also responds to the emergency measures and supports recovery efforts of the government.

Over 170,000 young women and men will directly benefit from the industry-driven skills and competencies development initiatives; basic education equivalency and literacy in factory programmes; entrepreneurship and enterprise development training and support innitiatives; employment services; and youth rights at work awareness raising programmes.

“In these times of turmoil, I am pleased to see our country coming together with international stakeholders to help and suppport young vulnerable Cambodians overcome today’s challenges and build a brighter future of work.” Said H.E Dr. Ith Samheng, Minister of Labour and Vocational Training.

“Cambodia’s response and recovery from the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is an invaluable opportunity to unleash digital transformation with a skilled, empowered and resilient young population. Young Cambodian women and men entering the job market every year will need more than ever to be equipped with the skills, competencies and the mindset to thrive even with uncertainty,” said UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Pauline Tamesis.

With a combined contribution of $4 million USD from SDC and $4.48 million USD from the four UN agencies (UNICEF, UNESCO, UNIDO and ILO), the Royal Government of Cambodia, and private sector, this four-year programme will benefit from the involvement of the private sector, including the Cambodian Federation of Employers and Business Associations (CAMFEBA), in the mission to facilitate young people’s school-to-work transition and contribute to reduce the skills mismatch in Cambodia.

“The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation is pleased to join force and renew our partnership with the Government and the United Nations in Cambodia to assist young women and men in the country, to be better prepared for their future career, focusing on the more vulnerable people. Vocational Skills Development and Decent Employment remain priorities of Switzerland ’s International Cooperation” said Ms. Carin Salerno, SDC Director of Cooperation.

The United Nations (UN) in Cambodia works to support peace, poverty eradication and human rights in the country. The UN is committed to enhancing development effectiveness in support of the priorities, plans and programs of the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC), civil society and other relevant partners.

For more information please contact: Mr. Tun Sophorn, National Coordinator, International Labour Organization (ILO), Email