Athor, 19 year-old waiter at Amantaka Resortfrom Chomphet District.↑ Haut de la page
Athor, 19 year-old waiter at Amantaka Resortfrom Chomphet District.↑ Haut de la page
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.↑ Haut de la page
Finding your first job in the tourism and hospitality sector can be difficult, but a new job skills training programme is helping to make that journey easier.
The “Job Bridge Programme” is a 10-week English language and Job Skills training programme designed to equip trainees with the right skillset to secure their first job in the tourism and hospitality sector. An initiative of the Skills for Tourism Project • LAO/029, the training programme is designed and delivered by Vientiane College with the support of a number of hospitality businesses across Vientiane Capital. The programme combines a variety of components, including English language training, employability skills, work-place exposure and CV and interview preparation.
Find out more details about the Job Bridge, watch here:
As the second round of the “Job Bridge Programme” is about to be launched, let’s have a look at two former trainees and what impact the training had on them:
I have gained my independence!
Katay, 29 years old from Vientiane Capital
“You have to make sure it’s fresh” says Katay as she is carefully picking fruits.
Katay is working as Head Chef at Earth Bar, one of the most popular bars in the capital. From whipping up a burger in no time to overseeing the waiters, the young woman also takes care of the food supplies and enjoys her walks to the market. Asked about how she landed the job, Katay’s strong willpower becomes visible.
Determined to improve her skills and further support her two children as a single mom, Katay signed up to the 10-week long Job Bridge Programme delivered by Vientiane College and funded by the Skills for Tourism Project • LAO/029. “It’s the only training I’ve ever participated in” she says “I didn’t go to high school, so this was a unique chance for me”. The Job Bridge programme doesn’t require prior education and aims to help people, especially from disadvantaged backgrounds, to land their first job in the tourism and hospitality industry.
Katay has fond memories of the programme, especially moments spent with fellow students and the many visits to hotels and restaurants. “I enjoyed the real-life exposure, as you see how everything is really done”.
When she completed the training, Katay was employed as an assistant chef, but very soon her skills caught the attention of her supervisor and she was promoted to Head Chef. The inspiring young woman is making her way in the industry.
She goes on to explain “that working in hospitality is not always perceived as very prestigious, but for me it is, as this job has allowed me to take care of my kids and my life. I don’t have to rely on a man to provide for me. I have gained my independence!”
“I’m not afraid to talk to guests anymore, I even like it now!”
Vannalith, 20 years old from Savannakhet
“I’ve been living in Vientiane for 8 months now!” says Vannalith. The 20-year-old Savannakhet native came to the capital in the pursuit of a better future. He was hoping to work in the hospitality sector but soon realized that he felt too shy to approach customers, especially when it came to talking in English. Looking for ways to improve his communication skills, a friend suggested to apply for the “Job Bridge Programme”. Intrigued by the promise of intensive English language training as well as job skills development, Vannalith made sure he was one of the selected candidates.
Within the 10-week “Job Bridge Programme”, the young man learned a great deal about employability skills and was exposed to real life work placement. “I loved the visits to the different hotels and restaurants as well as the role plays, says Vannalith, “We received a lot of practice and not just theory.”
Within a couple of days after graduation, Vannalith was recruited by the prestigious Crowne Plaza Hotel. “It’s a dream come true!” he exclaims. Starting off as a runner, he soon became a full-time waiter. He enjoys the daily contact with people from around the world. “You know, during the training I learned that people are just people. And it’s true! I’m not afraid to talk to guests anymore, I even like it now!”
Asked about his future goals, he doesn’t shy away from the idea of becoming a supervisor in 2 years’ time. And with the biggest grin, he adds “and then manager!”
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A groundbreaking ceremony was held for a new Tourism and Hospitality practical training facility on the Vang Vieng campus of the Vientiane Province Technical College on 24 June 2019.
This multi-purpose building will be used as a practical training facility for students enrolled on tourism and hospitality programmes and at the same time can function as a small hotel enterprise offering six guest rooms for let, providing students with the opportunity to hone their practical skills in a real work environment.
The construction and equipping of the practical training facility is one of the ‘improving training facilities and standards of TVET and IVET schools and colleges’ initiatives under the Skills for Tourism LAO/029 project, which is co-financed by the Governments of Lao PDR, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Switzerland, and implemented by the Ministry of Education and Sports of Lao PDR and LuxDev, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency. The United Nations Office for project Services was contracted to provide a ‘turnkey’ service covering the design, construction and fitting out of the facility transitioning the newly constructed building into a functional Tourism and Hospitality practical training facility.
Vang Vieng is a flagship tourism destination in Lao PDR, however the location lacks a modern vocational training facility for tourism and hospitality. Therefore, the new construction will host the Tourism and Hospitality Department of the Vientiane Province Technical College, offering new and improved tourism and hospitality programmes in a contemporary environment. At the same time, Vang Vieng’s strategic location facilitates access to potential students from the surrounding area.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Kongsy Sengmany, Vice Minister of Education and Sports, said that “developing tourism and ensuring that Lao people are able to take full advantage of the employment opportunities the sector offers is a priority for the country and is in line with the vision and objectives of the eighth National Socio-Economic Development Plan 2016 - 2020 and Lao PDR Tourism Strategy 2006 – 2020. The construction of a modern practical skills training facility offers access to better training which in turn improves the employability of Tourism and Hospitality graduates”.
During the groundbreaking ceremony, H.E Mr Jean-Paul Senninger, Ambassador designate of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, also welcomed the initiative stating that “the practical training facility will increase the possibility for ensuring the labour-market orientation of programmes. Delivering training relevant to the workplace, respected by employers and in high demand by students will support Lao PDR to reach international standards in the area of tourism and hospitality.”
Mrs Barbara Jäggi Hasler, Deputy Director of Cooperation/Head of Employment and Skills Domain, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, commented that “providing Vientiane Province Technical College with a modern practical skills training facility will have many benefits, especially in terms of access. Students from the ethnic minority secondary school located on the outskirts of Vang Vieng town will be able to attend Tourism and Hospitality programmes. The offer of relevant courses will also most likely increase the demand and number of students enrolled.”
The practical training facility is expected to be completed and ready to welcome Tourism and Hospitality students in October 2019.
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Government officials, private sector representatives and development partners met at a debriefing workshop in Vientiane last week for the Mid-Term Review of the Skills for Tourism Project (LAO/029). Being half-way through the project’s implementation phase, an external evaluation team from B,S,S. Economic Consultants (Basel, Switzerland) conducted an assessment of the results achieved by the project to date. The assessment focused on four pillars, namely the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of the project results. The mid-term review is considered an important milestone and learning opportunity to reflect on what has been successful so far and what aspects of the project may further attention.
The Skills for Tourism Project, which supports improvements in tourism and hospitality vocational education and skills development in Lao PDR, has a particular emphasis on supporting people from disadvantaged backgrounds to acquire the skills needed to work in hotels, restaurants and the greater tourism economy.
In his opening remarks, Mr Nouphanh Outsa, Director General of the Technical and Vocational Education Department, Ministry of Education and Sports, highlighted the importance of workforce development to improve the performance of the tourism sector in the country, and acknowledged the valuable contribution of the Skills for Tourism Project in this regard.
Mrs Barbara Jäggi Hasler, Deputy Director of Cooperation/Head of Employment and Skills Domain for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) emphasized the substantial achievements of the project since it began in September 2016, including support to the Labour Market Information System and the development of competency-based programmes and curricula.
Also speaking at the review meeting, Ms Julie Wagner, Attachée at the Embassy of Luxembourg in Lao PDR commented that investment in vocational education and skills development is of utmost importance to take advantage of the demographic window of opportunity for the young Lao population and, since the project is now half-way through its implementation, it is a good moment to review what has been done and how to proceed in the future.
During their mission in Lao PDR, the experts from B,S,S. Economic Consultants interviewed over 30 different stakeholders from public and private sector as well as training providers, employers, graduates and teachers. The team travelled to three different locations, including Luang Prabang, Pakse and Vientiane Capital.
The overall assessment of the evaluation team is that the project is highly relevant, well managed and likely to achieve its goals by 2021. The project is aligned with the National Socio-Economic Development Plan 2016 - 2020, as well as the Education Sector and TVET Development plans of Lao PDR. It is likely that the objective of 5,000 beneficiaries, who participated in vocational education and skills development programmes supported by the project, will be surpassed. However, the project also faces challenges, especially in terms of sustainability of results after its completion. This is of particular concern in terms of ensuring the sustainable financing of vocational education and skills development in Lao PDR in the medium- to long-term.
The report of the mid-term review will be completed by the end of June and the findings and recommendations further considered by the Governments of Lao PDR, the Grandy Duchy of Luxembourg and Switzerland.↑ Haut de la page
Students graduated their three months Certificate 1 Level course in Food Production and Food and Beverage Service in Lanith Luang Prabang Training Centre
A graduation ceremony was held for the 30 students who successfully completed three-month Certificate 1 (C1)-accredited training programmes in Food Production and Food and Beverage Service at the Lanith Luang Prabang Training Centre from January to March 2019. All 30 graduates have already secured jobs in the tourism and hospitality sector, primarily at leading hotels and restaurants in Luang Prabang.
These training courses which focus, in particular, on inclusion of people from disadvantaged backgrounds in tourism/hospitality training and employment, are supported by the Skills for Tourism Project (LAO/029). The trainings are designed to equip young women and men with the required skills 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. All tuition fees are covered and students receive a monthly stipend, as well as accommodation and support costs for the entire duration of the course, as well as for one month after graduation to ease their transition to employment.
Since 2017, LAO/029 has supported more than 100 young people (75% of whom are women) from disadvantaged backgrounds to study at the Lanith Luang Prabang Training Centre. The courses have led to the employment of all graduates within the sector.
At the graduation ceremony, Mr. Xaisavanh Chanthasith, Deputy Director of Luang Prabang Provincial Education and Sports Department, commented that Food and Beverage Service, Food Production and Housekeeping Operations are key areas in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Luang Prabang. Graduates of such programmes are in high demand and can contribute to the further development of the tourism sector in the province.
Mr Por Vang, who graduated from the same training programme in 2017, also attended the graduation ceremony and gave an inspiring speech wherein he shared his experiences of working in the tourism and hospitality sector following completion of his training. Starting off as a waiter, he is now working in the front office department of the renowned Maison Souvannaphoum Hotel. He praised the support received and the quality of the training he obtained. After only three months training, he had developed his confidence and was ready to tackle the workplace. He also encouraged students to continue developing their knowledge and skills stating that “learning never stops”.
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On 6 December, a certificate ceremony was held for the 38 trainees who successfully graduated from the “Job Bridge” Programme.
“Job Bridge” is a 10-week English language and Job Skills training programme designed to equip trainees with the right skillset to secure their first job in the tourism and hospitality sector. An initiative of the Skills for Tourism Project (LAO/029), the training programme was designed and delivered by Vientiane College with the support of a number of hospitality businesses across Vientiane Capital.
The programme combines a variety of components, including English language training, employability skills, work-place exposure and CV and interview preparation. It is designed specifically for people from disadvantaged backgrounds to gain the requisite skills in order to secure gainful employment within the tourism and hospitality sector.
At the graduation ceremony, Daleen Douangsivanh, Coordinator of the Job Bridge Training Programme at Vientiane College, emphasised the importance of the programme and stated that “the programme offered the possibility to work in cooperation with the Tourism and Hospitality community and to receive support from a wide-range of partners which made a significant impact on the success of the training. The trainees have shown incredible development and the aims of the programme have hit their target.”
Phithuck Chanthavong (Thuck), one of the trainees commented that: “This programme gave me and everyone else on the course the chance for new experiences we never could have before. I want to continue learning and studying English to work in hospitality, and I hope to get a job working as a receptionist.”
Prior to graduation, a job fair was held with leading tourism and hospitality businesses including the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Inthira Group, Naked Espresso, O’Gradys Irish Pub and Restaurant, Common Grounds Cafe, Lao Orchid Hotel, Le Thatluang D’oR Hotel, Joma Bakery Cafe, Doi Ka Noi Restaurant, Tyson’s Kitchen and 108 Jobs. The trainees benefited from communicating directly with employers, undertook interviews at the fair and are hopeful of securing employment in the near future.
The Job Bridge curriculum is currently under consideration for accreditation by the Ministry of Education and Sports and is expected to be replicated in Vientiane Capital and expanded to other locations between 2019 and 2021 with the goal of training 750 people from disadvantaged backgrounds and supporting their transition into employment in tourism and hospitality.
The Skills for Tourism Project (LAO/029) is co-financed by the Governments of Lao PDR, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Switzerland, and implemented by the Ministry of Education and Sports of Lao PDR and the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency (LuxDev).
Skills for Tourism supports improvements in tourism and hospitality technical and vocational education and training and skills development in Lao PDR. A particular emphasis of the project is to support people from disadvantaged backgrounds to acquire the skills needed to work in hotels, restaurants and the greater tourism economy.
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World Tourism Day is globally celebrated on 27 September each year to raise awareness on the contribution tourism makes to sustainable development. This year, the theme is “Tourism and Digital Transformation”. It focuses on the importance of digital technologies in providing innovative approaches to skills development to prepare young people for their future of work. With this in mind, the Technical and Vocational Education Department of the Ministry of Education and Sports – with the support of the Skills for Tourism Project (LAO/029) – has created an English language mobile app, specifically designed for the tourism and hospitality sector.
© Phoonsab Thevongsa
Called Sabaidee English, the app aims to improve English language competences of students and employees in tourism and hospitality. Through a series of fun and entertaining exercises and games, users can practice and improve their communication skills in English. The app, which is available on both Android and iOS platforms, is completely free of charge and once downloaded, can be used offline. In its testing phase, Sabaidee English was very well received by students and teachers alike. It has also been welcomed by employers as an effective and accessible way to develop the English language skills of staff.
© Phoonsab Thevongsa
"As 2018 is Visit Laos Year, special attention needs to be placed on developing the capacities of people currently employed in the tourism and hospitality sector, as well as those undertaking education and training for future careers in the industry. Through the development of Sabaidee English, the Technical and Vocational Education Department is committed to improving English communication skills for employees in tourism and hospitality”, says Mr Nouphanh Outsa, Director General, Technical and Vocational Education Department.
© Phoonsab Thevongsa
Since 1980, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has celebrated World Tourism Day on 27 September each year. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness on the role of tourism within the international community and to demonstrate how it affects social, cultural, political and economic values worldwide.
The Skills for Tourism Project (LAO/029) is co-financed by the Governments of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Switzerland and implemented by the Ministry of Education and Sports of Lao PDR and the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency (LuxDev).↑ Haut de la page
In collaboration with the Skills for Tourism Project LAO/029, Swisscontact is implementing the Pheun Than Heng A Sip Training Programme (PTHAS) which seeks to upgrade hospitality skills amongst 500 MSME (Micro Small Medium Enterprise) staff and support 500 more people from disadvantaged backgrounds to enter the tourism and hospitality sector in selected southern and central provinces.
On 5th September 2018, 24 staff members from micro, small and medium tourism/hospitality enterprises received PTHAS certificates of completion for a hospitality upskilling training programme. The training was delivered by industry experts from the neighbouring Champasak Hotel and Restaurant Association (CHRA). The staff members completed 12 competency assessed units in either food and beverage services or housekeeping. The training was held on 4 – 5 September 2018.
Certificates were presented in Lamam town by Mr. Thongkharn Khounpaserth, president of the Sekong Hotel, Guesthouse Restaurant Group (SK HGRG) and signed by both SK HGRG and Mr. Sounbanh Daesomphong, the Deputy Director of the Department of Information, Culture and Tourism (DICT).
Swisscontact is supporting the SK HGRG to deliver the PTHAS training programme under the Skills for Tourism (Project LAO/029).
Project LAO/029 is supported by the Governments of Lao PDR, Switzerland and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.↑ Haut de la page
21 staff members from micro, small and medium tourism/hospitality enterprises received certificates of completion of the Pheun Than Heng A Sip Training Programme (PTHAS) in Champasak province in July. Certificates were presented in Pakse by Madame Mala Chanthalam, Deputy Director of the Department of Information, Culture and Tourism (DICT) and Mr Thouy Phetsavanh, president of the Champasak Hotel and Restaurant Association (CHRA).
The staff members completed 12 competency assessed units in either food and beverage service or housekeeping, delivered by industry trainers coordinated by the CHRA. Swisscontact is supporting the CHRA to deliver the PTHAS training programme under the Skills for Tourism Project LAO/029.
In collaboration with Skills for Tourism Project LAO/029, Swisscontact implements the Pheun Than Heng A Sip Training Programme.
This seeks to upgrade hospitality skills amongst 500 MSME staff and support 500 more people from disadvantaged backgrounds to enter the tourism and hospitality sector in selected southern and central provinces.
Project LAO/029 is supported by the Governments of Lao PDR, Switzerland and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg↑ Haut de la page
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