Strengthening Skills Development in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar through South-South and Triangular Cooperation Highlights from 2023

The ILO/China Partnership Programme, also known as the ILO/China SSTC Programme, is dedicated to enhancing skills development in Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Myanmar through South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC). With a substantial US$4 million contribution from China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS), the program focuses on improving worker employability and enterprise productivity. Activities range from formulating skills laws and regulations to conducting national skills gap surveys and providing reskilling and upskilling policy advice,  institutional capacity building, various training and skills competitions. .

The initiative fosters knowledge sharing among technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions through SSTC, exemplified by the Skills Development Network inaugurated in November 2021. The network brings together 21 TVET institutes from China, Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Myanmar, supported by the ILO and MOHRSS.

In 2023, the program adapted to challenges, particularly in Myanmar, reprogramming activities under the guidance of the UN Country Team. Despite disruptions, the project continued promoting skills development for youth, women, and men in Myanmar through non-government organizations.

The program achieved its objectives in Cambodia and Lao PDR, enhancing policy formulation and institutional capacity. Workshops and training programs, including more than 51 organized in 2023, covered diverse topics such as web design, ICT, automotive maintenance, and welding. The SSTC Skills Development Network has flourished, with 9 MOUs signed between 18 member TVETs, fostering peer-to-peer cooperation.

The program supported TVETs in curriculum development on ICT and facilitated ASEAN member participation in the Belt and Road Initiative Seminar. Appreciation is expressed for China’s support in implementing this impactful project on strengthening skills development in the target countries.