TRAVEL industry players have welcomed a government initiative to create more tourism vocational training centres in Cambodia.
In a bid to improve hospitality service standards and address the lack of adequate training, the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) has unveiled plans to create two additional training facilities that will be operational by 2019.
Tourism minister Thong Khon said: “To resolve the issue, the government will allow the MoT to build two more vocational training centres in Phnom Penh and Sihanouk province, funded by the French Development Agency, with a capacity to train 1,300 people per year.”
The news comes as Swiss consultancy, Shift 360, made known plans to create an Academy of Culinary Arts, which will train up to 300 chefs annually from 2017.
And the MoT recently launched its One Staff, One Skill campaign alongside the Good Hospitality Initiative, which both promote tourism skills.
Alexis de Suremain, co-founder of MAADS Hospitality Group, said: “The lack of highly trained people in the hospitality industry in Cambodia is a real, ongoing challenge.”
Currently, many hotels and restaurants snap up star pupils graduating from training programmes carried out by organisations such as Friends International and EGBOK, which provide under-privileged youth with training opportunities.
Amy McLoughlin, co-founder of Ayana Journeys, said: “We are excited to learn about the introduction of more hospitality training centres, and support any efforts to up-skill the Cambodian workforce.
“I hope they will help generate more skilled employment opportunities for particularly young people. We hope to see more confident and entrepreneurial bright sparks coming out of the proposed centres.”