France has reaffirmed its commitment to ongoing collaboration with Cambodia’s Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, particularly in relation to the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and National Social Security Fund (NSSF) sectors.

French ambassador Jacques Pellet and French development agency AFD country director Sandrine Boucher made the pledge during their meeting with labour minister Heng Sour at the ministry in Phnom Penh last week.

Leaders from several trade unions expressed their support for the commitment, stating that the continued cooperation would be advantageous for youths and workers receiving skill training.

“The French government, through AFD, is committed to continuing to supporting development and cooperating with the labour ministry and various institutions, as well as the TVET and NSSF sectors,” the ministry quoted Pellet as saying.

During the discussions, Boucher also reiterated AFD’s commitment to implementing projects and activities, particularly with regards to TVET and the NSSF.

“We have goals and projects which will modernise the NSSF, including human resources development and management, as well as the development of information and communication technology [ICT], which will align with the growth of the fund,” she added.

Sour expressed his gratitude to the ambassador and AFD director for their cooperation and support.

“This cooperation also aligns with recommendations made by Prime Minister Hun Manet and the Pentagonal Strategy-Phase I laid out by the seventh-mandate government,” he said, adding that he is committed to enhancing cooperation with the French government, particularly through the AFD, to achieve the best possible results.

Pav Sina, head of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, noted that the French government’s support for the ministry is excellent for the nation’s youth.

“The youth – and Cambodians in general – now have many opportunities to receive skill training to meet market demands and increase job opportunities. I hope this cooperation will also help the NSSF to expand its scope and cover the population,” he said.

Ath Thorn, head of the Cambodian Labour Confederation (CLC), agreed that it would be beneficial if the French could offer technical assistance and vocational training resources that allow both youth and adults to acquire more skills than previously possible.

“The government plans to train over 1.5 million workers and youth. AFD’s cooperation will contribute to this programme,” he said.