LAOS - Once upon a training: Stories of Oudone and Porvang
Teachers can still learn too!
Oudone, Teacher at Champasak Technical College, Champasak Province, © LuxDev
30-year old Oudone is teaching Tourism, Housekeeping and Front Office at the Champasak Technical College. Passionate about her job and always open for new challenges, she participated in a hotel internship in Bangkok and other trainings aiming to scale up the capacities of Technical and Vocational Education and Training teachers.
Talking about the trainings, she says “I really enjoyed the courses and shared all the things I’ve learned with my colleagues”.
As she improved her skills through the trainings, Oudone was given additional responsibilities at the College. She is now managing six accommodation rooms at the school. Word of her competencies spread and Oudone was approached by a hotel to work as a part-time trainer in Housekeeping. She’s enjoying both her roles as a teacher and trainer and hopes to motivate her students to pursue a career in the tourism and hospitality sector.
Oudone explains “I try to make my students aware of all the different job opportunities. It’s a sector that can provide a good income and secure future!”
Asked about her own future, the young teacher says that she would like to further develop her skills, especially her English language skills. “I can still learn and improve, just like my students!”.
Oudone participated in four different trainings supported by the Skills for Tourism Project • LAO/029:
- “Professional Hotel Internship in Thailand” for 3 months
The Hotel Internship Programme provides Lao tourism and hospitality teachers with the opportunity to learn and acquire ‘industry-current’ skills, based on real life situations. Upon their return, the teachers are able to deliver that experienced-based-knowledge back to seven different Lao Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) schools throughout the country.
- Master Trainer of Housekeeping Operations in collaboration with Singapore
In-service training of 20 TVET teachers/trainers from three ministries related to Tourism and Hospitality to train in Singapore creating a cohort of master trainers in Housekeeping Operations. The training provided the trainers and teachers with the opportunity to update their knowledge and acquire ‘industry-current’ housekeeping skills, based on ASEAN standards. Through the conduct of a 5-day multiplier workshop in Vientiane Capital, the 20 master trainers trained an additional 60 trainers and TVET teachers in Housekeeping Operations.
This initiative is a collaboration between Lao PDR and Singapore, which is financially supported by the Temasek Foundation International and the Skills for Tourism Project (LAO/029), with technical support by the Institute of Education - Education Services, Singapore.
- Master Trainer of Front Office Operations in collaboration with Singapore
Continuing the effective collaboration with Temasek Polytechnic College, Singapore, the project supported the training of a further 20 master trainers in Front Office Operations and 20 master trainers in Food & Beverage Service. Replicating the successful cascade training model, an additional 120 trainers and TVET teachers are upskilled.
- ASEAN National Trainer and Assessor Programme
The Programme supports existing and new Tourism and Hospitality I/TVET teachers to acquire the ASEAN National Trainer & Assessor qualification. The programme was delivered by the Institute of Mass-Media, Culture and Tourism (IMCT) together with (the new competency-based T/H Diploma) Curriculum Implementation training provided by the Vocational Education Development Institute (VEDI).
I have found my signature!
Porvang, 21 year-old from Phonsay District, Luang Prabang, © Bart Verweij
Porvang is adjusting his uniform as he gets ready to welcome new guests to Angsana Maison Souvannaphoum Hotel, one of the most renowned hotels in Luang Prabang. The 21-year-old has just been promoted to the front office department after starting off as a waiter. As the guests approach, he binds a bracelet around their wrist. “It’s for good luck” he says. Porvang seems confident and happy in his new role, however the path to a career in hospitality and tourism was not an obvious one.
Originally from Phonsay district, Porvang moved to the orphanage in Luang Prabang at the age of 8, where he stayed until the completion of his secondary school. “I always had an interest in English” he comments, “and I would often go to English conversation practice where I would talk to tourists to improve my language skills. However, in my last year of secondary school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do afterwards.”
Things started to take shape when he heard about the short-term training in Food Production at the LANITH Luang Prabang Training Centre. Intrigued by the short length of the training and the opportunity to find employment afterwards, he signed up.
Talking about the course, his face lights up “this training changed my life, it’s where I learned my signature, my path”. He goes on to explain that “at Lanith, you receive a good overview, English lessons and you learn about service. After all, you should know how to serve lunch for many people.”
Alichith Phengsavanh, HR Manager, who recruited Porvang right after he graduated from the training, confirms that the students gain a good basic level through the course. “It’s short but you can see that the training provides the right foundations, they learn how to work in a team and they seem passionate about hospitality”.
When asked about how his life has changed since he started working, Porvang is smiling modestly, “at the beginning, I would go to work with my bicycle, now I bought a motorbike!”
Reflecting about his future goals and ambitions, Porvang is eager to further develop his skills and hopes to become front office manager. As he looks at the front office desk, he adds “if there’s one thing I learned, is that learning never stops”.
Porvang carrying the welcome tray for new guests, © Bart Verweij
The three-month Certificate 1 (C1)-accredited training programmes in Food Production, Food and Beverage Service and Housekeeping are supported by the Skills for Tourism Project (LAO/029) and delivered by the LANITH Luang Prabang Training Centre.
These training courses which focus, in particular, on inclusion of people from disadvantaged backgrounds in tourism/hospitality training and employment, are designed to equip young women and men with the required skill set to land an entry-level job in the tourism and hospitality sector. The LANITH Luang Prabang Training Centre supplements the high quality practical training with intensive English language lessons and basic employability skills.
Since 2017, the project supported over 150 students (75% of whom are women). All graduates have secured employment in the tourism and hospitality sector, including at leading hotels and restaurants in Luang Prabang.↑ To the top