A private school and two state institutions have won the inaugural Cambodia Skills Challenge Innovation Call initiated cooperatively by the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and the UN in Cambodia.

The first place winning entry with a prize of $50,000 was awarded to Ecole d’Hotellerie et de Tourisme Paul Dubrule, a hospitality and tourism vocational school in Siem Reap province. The school will digitalise the ASEAN curriculum for technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in hospitality and tourism.

The school will develop a Learning Management System and a blended Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) assessment package and facilitate e-pedagogy training, according to a press release from the UN in Cambodia on February 5.

The second place prize of $30,000 was awarded to the Ministry of Tourism’s National Committee for Tourism Professionals which will also develop a blended RPL platform.

The third place prize of $20,000 went to the Department of Labour Market Information under the Directorate General of Technical Vocational Education and Training which will develop digital marketing platforms and campaigns.

The initiative was made possible with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and the Chinese government, according to the statement.

The UN in Cambodia encouraged eligible institutions to propose innovative solutions to address digital challenges faced by technical and vocational training institutes as well as help Cambodia build back in the post-Covid-19 period.

Labour minister Ith Sam Heng said: “I strongly believe that the three winning projects of the 1st Cambodia Skills Challenge Innovation Call will contribute to the development of the TVET sector, which plays a crucial role in the country’s socio-economic development as well as in the creation of decent employment opportunities and the advancement of livelihoods.”

UN in Cambodia representatives and International Labour Organisation Country Office for Thailand, Cambodia and Lao PDR said that ensuring access to quality education is the best preparation to succeed in the world of work and that there is a strong need to seek and promote innovative solutions which contribute to the digitalisation of learning content and skills development platforms.