LAOS - Tourism and hospitality technical vocational education colleges strengthen public-private partnerships
As part of the support provided to the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) to enhance the quality of technical and vocational education in tourism and hospitality, the Skills for Tourism Project LAO/029 has been working closely with 18 technical and vocational training colleges nationwide to improve cooperation with their local private sector. These efforts have resulted in the formalisation of over 120 public-private sector partnerships (PPPs) between technical colleges and tourism/hospitality enterprises.
TVET students in Savannakhet province are receiving practical insights into baking by a local industry professional, © LuxDev
To help support the development of these partnerships, the Skills for Tourism Project developed two guides which have been endorsed by the MoES. The “Good Practice Guide for Internships” helps schools understand how they can improve the student internship through working more closely with the private sector. The “Education Enterprise Engagement Manual” highlights a myriad of mutually beneficial partnerships that schools and businesses can establish.
During the academic year 2019-2020, all 18 colleges were gradually introduced to both publications as well as to case studies and tools to facilitate their implementation. The colleges were also encouraged to apply for the Skills for Tourism Project grants designed to enhance the quality of internships and to implement innovative partnerships with the private sector. By end of 2020, 122 PPs were formalised between public colleges and private sector actors under these initiatives.
The PPPs cover a variety of activities ranging from signing and implementing internship schemes, organising guest speaker events, job fairs and study tours, to having students provide catering support to private businesses or partake in skills competitions taught and judged by industry experts, amongst many other initiatives.
“PPPs not only offer the benefit of introducing technical and vocational education students to the latest industry practices, but they also lay the foundations for high-quality education and for businesses and vocational training providers to work closely to ensure graduates acquire relevant skills that meet labour-market needs”, elaborated Mr Nouphan Outsa, Director General of the Technical and Vocational Education Department of the MoES.
Such partnerships are also at the heart of the Skills for Tourism Project’s collaboration with the Vocational Education Financing Facility (VEFF) through which the Project is granting financial support to dual cooperative training (DCT) programmes in tourism and hospitality in three provinces. Building upon the theory training provided by vocational colleges, a key feature of DCT programmes is the close involvement of the private sector, which is in charge of providing the practical training in a business environment.
The Skills for Tourism Project’s support will go on throughout 2021 to continue fostering a culture of partnerships between the public and private sector which will raise the standards in tourism and hospitality and contribute to a successful recovery of the sector in the long run.
The Skills for Tourism Project is co-financed by the Governments of Lao PDR, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Switzerland, and implemented by the MoES and LuxDev, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency .
The Vocational Education Financing Facility (VEFF) is implemented by the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES), and co-funded by the German Government through KfW Development Bank.
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