Luxembourg and Switzerland to Provide Tourism Skills to Lao Minorities & Disadvantaged Youth

Luxembourg and Switzerland, together with the Ministry of Education and Sports, have joined hands for a vocational education and skills development project titled “Skills for Tourism – Human Resources Development in the Tourism and Hospitality Sector”.

The project will allow for improvements in tourism and hospitality vocational education and skills development in Lao PDR through enhanced quality, financing and governance. It follows international Mekong Region Strategic Plan 2013-2017 in which the goal is for rural women and men, mostly those belonging to ethnic minorities, to acquire skills and find work.

The Skills for Tourism project is supported by Luxembourg and Switzerland. It is worth 15 million Euros and will run from 2016-2020. It will be implemented by the Vocational Education Department, Ministry of Education and Sports.

An emphasis of the project will be to support disadvantaged youths from poor families in acquiring the skills needed to work in hotels, restaurants and the greater tourism economy in Lao PDR. The project will provide skills training for the tourism industry for 1,000-2,000 participants per year.

A press conference to launch the project was held on November 1, in Vientiane Capital under the chairmanship of Deputy Minister of Education and Sports Mr Kongsy Sengmany, a representative of Luxembourg and a representative of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation to the Mekong Region.

The project LAO/029 will be integrated into current educational schemes to avoid parallel structures and duplication of efforts, and to increase its sustainability.

The project contributes to the following overall objective: Promotion of sustainable and inclusive growth of the Lao PDR tourism and hospitality sector, thereby contributing to the reduction of poverty.

The specific objective of the intervention is as follows: Graduates of the improved and expanded tourism and hospitality skills development program, including the disadvantaged, will find well-paid employment in the tourism and hospitality industry.

(Source: KPL)