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Insights and Analysis

Shaping Professional Development in Cambodia

April 26, 2017

By Silas Everett, Siv Hong Lim

Youth are a pillar of Cambodia’s national economy. An estimated 240,000 Cambodian youth enter the job market annually, but according to a recent Asia Foundation study, the majority are underprepared and lack the information needed to pursue the new high-value professions that are opening up thanks to Cambodia’s rapid economic development.

The study findings reveal that many young people choose a career path primarily based on advice and guidance from family or friends, and that students find it hard to choose a career because they simply don’t know where to access the necessary information to get prepared and set their career goals. Career counseling support is available in less than 1 percent of secondary schools. On the flip side, many employers say that they can’t find qualified applicants they need for the jobs they have available, with 70 percent of employers citing a lack of soft skills among job applicants.

To address this gap, The Asia Foundation started a new initiative to help train young people entering the job market with the needed skills to compete and secure professional jobs. Working in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, we engaged 30 university students to create career introductory videos using their smartphones. In collaboration with Lens Pro Media, we organized a training workshop for the volunteers on how to shoot, edit, and produce short videos, and how to conduct a job interview.

Following the workshop, students competed in a two-month long video contest covering the working environment in Cambodia, what new applicants need to prepare, new job opportunities, career growth paths, and information on market demand. The winning three-minute videos, which will be released next month, are open-sourced, and will be available as a training resource for anyone to use.

Watch this video to learn more.

Silas Everett is The Asia Foundation’s country representative in Cambodia and Lim Siv Hong is the Foundation’s senior program officer there. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the individual authors and not those of The Asia Foundation or its funders.

Related locations: Cambodia
Related programs: Technology & Development


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