A new program steps up placement of students into internship and paid positions with businesses and organizations throughout Phnom Penh.
With Cambodia having the youngest population in Southeast Asia it is no surprise that high youth unemployment rates remain a pressing issue for many of our students. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO) 700 youth enter the labor market in Cambodia every day and compete for the very few opportunities available. While observations ‘on the ground’ show that the reasons for the high youth unemployment are rather complex, there is consensus that improvements in literacy, education, and relevant skills are pertinent for securing steady and sustainable employment.
EYC started our Job Placement Program in April 2012, and has seen great results in a short time. At the core of this program is Mr. Sophea Sor, the program’s coordinator, who establishes and fosters relationships between EYC and local businesses/organizations in order to place qualified and motivated students in internships or paid positions. We are proud to announce that eleven students were placed in internship positions in the first three months. Of those eleven interns, two were offered permanent employment within the first month of their internship. An additional eight students were placed in part time jobs this year (cleaner, English teacher, and waitress), allowing them to continue their education.
To help EYC’s students be more marketable and successful in their employment search we developed and implemented a comprehensive Job Training Program, which will build on the education EYC is providing to give them marketable skills. The first training class enrolled a total of 48 students across all EYC schools and was held on weekends at the Aziza and Youth Schools
The curriculum focused on finding and analyzing job announcements, cover letters and CV writing, as well interviewing and “how to be a good and productive employee”. We didn’t only want to help our students compete in the job selection processes but also aid them in being an invaluable asset to future employees.
The result is students’ opportunity to apply their freshly-gained knowledge in a “real world scenario”, excel in their internship or employment position, and pave the road for future EYC Job Training graduates to find jobs with the same organization(s). The six week program also included attending the annual Phnom Penh Career Forum and guest speakers such as Nokia’s Sales & Marketing Manager for Cambodia.
Mr. Sophea will conduct monthly follow-up meetings with the graduating class as well as the placed students and their respective managers to ensure ongoing support and the continuous improvement of this program.
EYC plans to offer the Job Training class three times a year and is looking to expand the curriculum to include more professional development topics such as stress, anger, time, and communications management.