Cambodia Addressing The Skills Gap: Employment Diagnostic Study

This study has identified the following six major challenges and constraints to productive employment in Cambodia: (1) sustaining long-term growth and the macroeconomic environment, (2) skills acquisition and productive employment, (3) agricultural productivity growth and rural development, (4) reducing vulnerable employment, (5) limited social protection, and (6) improving industrial relations.

Cambodia’s growth in the last 20 years has been remarkable and the lives of its people have improved substantially. But low-cost labour advantages on a narrow economic base have driven this growth. The country now needs to move beyond the four sectors that have dominated its economy: garment manufacturing, tourism, construction, and agriculture. Better education outcomes and higher-level skills are crucial for economic diversification and structural transformation and to sustain its inclusive growth. Labour force participation is high and unemployment relatively low, but the large majority of jobs are informal and more than a half of the employed have just a primary education or less. Addressing the problems of skills mismatch and future skills demand is therefore a priority. This joint report from the Asian Development Bank and the International Labour Organization examines constraints and opportunities for increasing productive employment in Cambodia. It can help the country exploit the opportunities its youthful labour force offers, but this window is closing fast.