Training project supporting local tourism, hospitality sector

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Project LAO/029 - Skills for Tourism will support a financing mechanism to ensure people from disadvantaged backgrounds can access funding for tourism and hospitality education and training.

This was the message at the project steering committee meeting held yesterday in Vientiane to review progress on project implementation during 2017 and plans for further forward.

There are also plans for 2018 and over the next four years to scale up training initiatives and opportunities for participants from disadvantaged backgrounds.

In addition, the project will expand capacity-building activities for technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and skills development teachers, develop new curricula, and improve practical training facilities in schools and colleges in Laos.

The Luxembourg and Swiss governments granted 15 million EUR to the government of Laos to enhance skills development in the tourism and hospitality sector through the Project LAO/029 - Skills for Tourism.

The objective of the project is the promotion of sustainable and inclusive growth of the Laos tourism and hospitality sector thereby contributing to poverty reduction.

Through the implementation of a range of initiatives, it is expected that graduates of improved and expanded tourism and hospitality TVET and skills development, particularly people from disadvantaged backgrounds, will find gainful employment in the tourism and hospitality sector.

The meeting reported that, during 2017, 86 teachers participated in a range of initiatives including an intensive English language programme; a three-month professional hotel internship in Thailand, and overseas scholarships to Luxembourg and Ireland (in collaboration with Irish Aid).

Additionally, 125 young people, future teachers and trainers are being supported to complete a Diploma in Tourism/Hospitality Studies, a Higher Diploma in TVET Teaching at the Vocational Education Development Institute, and Asean National Trainer and Assessor accreditation at the Institute for Mass Media, Culture and Tourism.

Deputy Minister of Education and Sports, Assoc Prof. Dr Khamphay Sisavanh said the Skills for Tourism project aligns very well with the 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan, as well as the TVET Development Plan 2016-2020.

The vision for TVET in Laos is labour force development linked to national and provincial socio-economic development in key sectors including tourism, as well as Asean and international integration, he added.

Commenting on the important contribution that vocational education and skills development makes towards reducing poverty, Charge d’ Affaires, Embassy of Luxembourg in Laos, Mr Claude Jentgen, acknowledged that capacity building of teacher trainers is a key output of the project.

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