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Job skills improving but higher standards needed: labour minister

Labour authorities and experts in Laos need to do more to improve workers’ skills in response to the needs of the job market.
This must be the focus in the future, even though skill levels have improved to some extent and more has been done to protect workers’ rights, especially over the past year.
 These were the observations of the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Dr Khampheng Saysompheng, when giving an interview on Monday about the progress made by the country’s workforce.
Young people now had more opportunities to improve their skills thanks to the ministry’s improved labour policies, he said.

The ministry would continue to train workers by equipping people from poor backgrounds with essential vocational skills.
In addition, the government, including the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, has worked to protect and promote the rights of Lao workers.
 Labour authorities have cooperated with the private sector to improve and promote employment services and self-employment, strengthen workers’ protection, and enhance industrial relations, Dr Khampheng said.
 In 2017, over 83,000 young people successfully participated in training to improve their skills, especially in the agriculture, services, and hospitality sectors, he added.
Meanwhile, the ministry has continued to develop the capacity and knowledge of agricultural workers to upgrade skills in this field in Vientiane and the provinces of Xayaboury, Luang Prabang, Savannakhet and Champassak.  
 In addition, workers now have improved employment security with access to social protection and dialogue, which both strengthens the workforce and the country’s economy.
Dr Khampheng said the ministry has organised the national Skills Competition every year and that the high quality of vocational education and skills demonstrated truly reflects the abilities of Lao workers.
The competition also provides the opportunity to exchange information and best practices regarding industry and professional education. New ideas and processes can inspire school-aged youth to dedicate themselves to technical and technological careers.
The competition enables those selected to represent their schools and colleges as they showcase their talents and celebrate their skills amongst their peers from around the country.
It also serves as a benchmark of the knowledge and skills of trainers and experts who have been chosen by their countries in a bid to win medals in skills competitions at the Asean and world levels.
The skills areas contested are updated from time to time to ensure they are attuned to the technological changes and the skills set required by the job market. This ensures that the national Skills Competition is relevant and contributes to the development of skills in the region.

By Phetphoxay Sengpaseuth
(Latest Update
March 8,

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