Reskilling and Upskilling Cambodia's Workforce of the Future
Closing the global skills gap could add US$11.5 trillion to global GDP by 2028. Education and training systems need to keep pace with the new demands of labor markets that are continually challenged by technological disruption, demographic change, and the evolving nature of work.
The Royal Government of Cambodia has begun to invest in Education 4.0 focusing on designing new models of education for the worlds 4th industrial revolution. At the same time, Cambodian businesses are initiating their own programmes aimed at skilling, upskilling and reskilling their workforces (and more broadly communities). The pandemic has widened the skills gap and warrants a diﬀerent way of understanding the root causes of persistent challenges and opportunities to eﬀect systemic change.
In September 2021, Cambodia’s Closing the Skills Gap Accelerator was announced at the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit. Convening more than 1000 constituents virtually, H.E. Dr Naron participated in a high-level session entitled ‘The Accelerator Model.
Scaling Private-Public Collaboration’ exploring the successes and challenges of accelerator models on closing existing gaps and boosting economic well-being. The Royal Government of Cambodia and the Private Sector have formalized the initiative, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum (the Forum), and with the International Business Chamber of Cambodia (IBC). To date, Cambodia is part of 23 economies participating in a Global Accelerator Network that provides a framework for public-private collaboration to help countries become more inclusive, sustainable, and prosperous.
Cambodia’s Accelerator is governed by a leadership group consisting of five public and private sector leaders. The two Co-chairs representing the Royal Government are: H.E. Senior Minister SUN Chanthol, Senior Minister, Ministry of Public Works and Transport; and H.E. Dr. HANG Choun Naron, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports. The three private sector Co-chairs are: Neak Okhna SEAR Rithy, Founder and Chairman of WorldBridge; Mr. MAO Sreng, CEO of IDP Education; and Ms. LY Xing Sopheary, Vice President, Ly Hour Group.
IBC is the National Coordinator supported by Mr. Pierre TAMI, Social Entrepreneur of Shift360; and Ms. LIM Solinn, Chief Skills and Gender Oﬃcer of IBC.
All industries, The Royal Government; CSOs, and Development Partners will be invited to partake in the Accelerator. The Accelerator’s leadership will meet to discuss challenges and opportunities and Working Groups will be organised to implement prioritized Action Plans.
Cambodia’s Accelerator is part of the Forum’s peer-to-peer Global Learning Network, where knowledge and lessons learned, practical challenges and solutions, as well as updates on the latest skills and labour market trends, are shared. Some of the latest learning from member countries are on reskilling and redeployment in the context of Covid-19 economic recovery, and on how to best design a universal skills taxonomy, to name a couple.
Timeline and Next Steps
In March 2022 the Public and Private Sector Co-Chairs met to discuss the "Closing the Skills Gap Accelerator Project" and review the issues and opportunites to come up with the priorities of the project. Click Here to find out more.
Over the course of 2022 the National Co-Ordinator Team met with seven different industries to understand the issues they are having related to the skills gap.
In Quarter 1 of 2023 the next Public and Private Sector Co-Chairs meeting will be held along with representatives from the seven diffent industries.