- LuxDev's Regional office
- Vientiane Regional Office
- Education - Vocational Training & Access to Employment
- PIC 3
- 2011 - 2015
- Implementation period
- 19 August 2016 - 31 August 2021
- Total duration
- 60 months
- Total budget
- 15,000,000 EUR
- Contribution breakdown
- Luxembourg Government
The tourism sector in Lao PDR has expanded rapidly, with international arrivals increasing from 14,400 in 1990 (generating revenue of USD 2.25 million) to over 4.6 million in 2015 (with revenue of USD 725.4 million). Direct employment in tourism stands at approximately 130,000 people, with participation in the tourism labour force seen as the main potential to increase poor peoples’ share of tourism-related income. According to research carried out in 2015, there are currently approximately 7,000 job vacancies in the tourism and hospitality sector in Lao PDR. Furthermore, it is estimated that about 10% of the tourism and hospitality labour force has to be replaced annually for a variety of reasons. Accordingly, Luxembourg and Switzerland, together with the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) of the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (PDR), have joined hands for a vocational education and skills development project.
‘Skills for Tourism’ promotes sustainable and inclusive growth of the tourism and hospitality sector in Lao PDR, thereby contributing to poverty reduction. The project is helping to bridge the gap between the large number of job-seekers in Lao PDR, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, and the enormous employment potential of the tourism and hospitality sector. It is expected that graduates of improved and expanded tourism and hospitality skills development, in particular disadvantaged young people, will find gainful employment in the tourism and hospitality sector as a result of this initiative. The project builds on previous and ongoing support for vocational education and skills development in Lao PDR from both Luxembourg and Switzerland within the framework of the Lao PDR Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Development Plan 2016-2020 and the Lao PDR Tourism Strategy 2006-2020.
When fully operational, project LAO/029, will allow for as many as 1,000 to 2,000 beneficiaries per year to be trained and find employment in tourism and hospitality. According to Mr Nouphanh Outsa, Director General-TVET Department, MoES, and Project LAO/029 National Project Director (NPD):
With increasing demands for skilled labour in the tourism and hospitality sector, I am delighted that the ‘Skills for Tourism’ project is supporting the Government of Lao PDR in its efforts to ensure that disadvantaged poor people can gain the skills needed to secure decent employment in the tourism sector.
The inception phase of this five-year project began in September 2016. The project focuses on four key outcomes:
- The quality of skills development programmes in tourism and hospitality is improved;
- The scale and variety of good quality skills development programmes in tourism and hospitality is expanded;
- Disadvantaged groups are included in training programmes through transparent and effective support measures;
- An enabling governance, institutional and regulatory framework is in place.
Project LAO/029 operates at various governance levels. At the macro level, it supports policy dialogue, capacity development and coordination support to national institutions. At the meso level, the project is supporting alignment and enhancement of the quality and volume of skills development and vocational training. At micro level, affirmative action support is being provided to disadvantaged young people by improving awareness of tourism and hospitality education, training and employment opportunities, defining career paths and eliminating access barriers.
Laos - More skilled workers are ready for hospitality industry in Luang Prabang province
In February 2018, 18 young women completed a three-month Food and Beverage Service training programme at the Satellite Training Centre, part of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College in Luang Prabang. The Centre was engaged by the Skills for Tourism Project (LAO/029), in partnership with the Luang Prabang Provincial Education and Sports Department, to train participants from disadvantaged backgrounds. At the time of graduation, 11 trainees had already landed jobs in the hospitality sector in Luang Prabang, with the remaining trainees expected to secure employment in the coming days.
Laos - Tourism and Hospitality students to study in Ireland
The students will undertake a higher certificate course in culinary and hospitality studies at the Dublin Institute of Technology. An internship in Ireland’s buoyant tourism sector will form an integral part of the programme ensuring that the participants return to Lao with the knowledge, skills and English language proficiency demanded by Lao’s growing tourism sector. On their return, the students will take up positions as Teaching Assistants at the Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality (LANITH). Since 2013, this will bring the total of eight students from Lao PDR that have completed higher certificate courses in culinary and hospitality studies in Ireland in collaboration with the Embassy of Ireland in Hanoi, Irish Aid partnership programme.
Project LAO/029 - Skills for Tourism bid farewell to two tourism and hospitality students from Laos who are furthering their studies in Ireland
Welcoming the initiative Mr. Nouphanh Outsa, Director General of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Department, Ministry of Education and Sports said, “Education plays a crucial role in the development of any country. By providing scholarships for European higher education opportunities, we are supporting these young Laotians to develop their skills set, improve their language skills and contribute to the development of the country”. He added, “returning to work as teaching assistants in LANITH ensures the transfer of skills and knowledge to another generation of Lao tourism and hospitality students, improving the quality of their education”.
“The Government of Luxembourg is very pleased to continue its support for overseas study opportunities for young Lao students. The impact of study abroad on a student’s personal, professional, and academic life shows that it positively and unequivocally influences the career path, world-view, and self-confidence of students. This initiative allows tourism and hospitality students acquire valuable skills and knowledge which on their return they transfer to many Lao students in their role as tourism and hospitality teachers in TVET”, said Mr. Claude Jentgen, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Luxembourg in Lao PDR.
“Tourism is a rapidly growing, place-dependent activity that offers enormous opportunities to boost inclusive economic growth in Lao PDR. It offers potential to increase national income and generate employment for local people, including a growing number of young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds,” remarked Mrs. Barbara Jäggi Hasler, Deputy Director of Cooperation, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in Lao PDR. She added, “Studying abroad grants you the opportunity to completely immerse yourself in a new language, and there is no better way to learn than to dive right in”.
The 15 million EUR Skills for Tourism project – implemented by the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency (LuxDev) and the Ministry of Education and Sports – improves vocational education and skills development for the tourism/hospitality sector. The project is aligned with the Government of Lao PDR’s 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan and the country’s vision for Techincal and Vocational Education and Training – the development of a labor force linked to national and provincial socio-economic development in key sectors including tourism, as well as ASEAN and international integration.
Laos - Successful English Language Training for Tourism and Hospitality Teachers
The English language training programme delivered by Vientiane College - the first of its kind in the Lao PDR - is an exemplary model for upgrading language skills of young professionals.
The Governments of Lao PDR, Luxembourg and Switzerland applaud 52 tourism and hospitality teachers from 17 Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and Integrated Vocational Education and Training (IVET) schools and colleges whom have completed a summer challenge to improve their English language skills under the Skills for Tourism (LAO/029) project.
Participants were completely immersed in English language six days a week for one month. Not only was English taught in the classroom, participants were given another key tool necessary for language acquisition - application outside the classroom. Participants lived together, shared meals and coffee breaks with English discussion topics, undertook projects, met international guests from around the world and experienced motivational talks from local role models working in tourism and hospitality.
While learning English was the key focus of the programme, participants also learned how to develop their own teaching skills and apply modern techniques to engage students.
“Going back to school, especially for teachers, 27 of who are female and 25 male, can be a daunting experience but these teachers embraced the opportunity with excitement and enthusiasm,” said Mr. Nouphanh Outsa, Director General of the TVET Department, Ministry of Education and Sports.
With over a thousand students enrolled in TVET tourism and hospitality programmes in 2016-17 improving English language proficiency as well as technical skills, is a game changer when it comes to securing a job in the sector. Empowering teachers with the skills and tools to teach, and the confidence to lead by example, is an essential part of ensuring that students complete their studies successfully and secure employment in the industry
“Being bilingual opens a wide range of employment opportunities for students especially in the tourism and hospitality sector and help students to excel in service quality. Improved competitiveness in the sector should lead to increased employment, creating opportunities for a growing number of young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to transition into decent jobs in the sector”, remarked Mrs. Barbara Jäggi Hasler, Deputy Director of Cooperation, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
The tourism sector in Lao PDR has expanded rapidly, with international arrivals rocketing from 14,400 in 1990 to over 4.2 million in 2016. Direct employment in tourism is substantial, with participation in the tourism labor force seen as having significant potential to increase poor peoples’ share of tourism-related income.
“The Government of Luxembourg is delighted to continue its support for tourism and hospitality skills development in Lao PDR. English language skills are linked to employability in the sector. With this and other initiatives, the Skills for Tourism project is helping to bridge the gap between the large number of young job-seekers in Lao PDR, particularly youth and the employment potential of the sector.”, said Mr. Claude Jentgen, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Luxembourg in Lao PDR.
The 15 million EUR Skills for Tourism project is implemented by the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency (LuxDev) and the Ministry of Education and Sports and is aligned with the Government of Lao PDR’s 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan and the country’s vision for Technical Vocational Education and Training which focusses on the development of a labor force linked to national and provincial socio-economic development in key sectors including tourism, as well as ASEAN and international integration.