Dream Centre for Youth with Disadvantaged Background

by Mom Chantara Soleil

After its official inauguration today, a modern auto mobile training building, namely Hyundai-KOICA Dream Centre, will provide necessary facilities to Cambodian youths identified with disadvantaged backgrounds to sharpen their knowledge and skills for their future career.

Located at the western suburb of Phnom Penh capital – home to youth dropouts and migrants – the Dream Centre sets another milestone of multi-partnership among Plan, National Polytechnic Institute of Cambodia (NPIC), Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and a world leading Hyundai Motor Company (HMC).

With the centre in place, the first batch of 70 recruited youths, thanks to the blossoming partnership will bring their study and practice of the life skill to a standard readying them for the future entry to the labour market.

Practicing

“The technical training centre will enable the unprivileged youth to learn and support themselves. We want to give back to the society by making a better life for everyone who does not have the chance and resources as suggested by our slogan Moving the World Together,” remarked CEO of Hyundai Motor Company Mr. Chung Jin Haeng when launching the Dream Centre construction in April last year.

In his address to more than 2,000 participants of the inauguration, H.E. Pich Sophoan, Labour and Vocational Training Secretary of State highlighted that Cambodia is at the door toward ASEAN Economic Community. The country needs skilled workforce for a very competitive market. The Dream Centre will contribute to this demand in terms of the auto mechanic skill.

“The Korean Government has put much importance on human resource development and technical training in cooperation with Cambodia for a sustainable growth,” said Mr. Kwak Bum-soo, Minister-Counsellor, Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Cambodia.

A report of the Asia Development Bank indicates that household financial constraint and limited training access hindered around two million of Cambodian young people from going to school and from acquiring vocational skills. Consequently, many of them have ended up working as unskilled or low paid labour inside or outside Cambodia.  And only 22% of working youth completed high school, according to a report by the International Labour Organisation.

“Youth from households that lack access to basic services must overcome barriers of marginality and exclusion to obtain decent work to avoid living in poverty. Plan recognises youth unemployment as a serious issue. The training centre represents another solution, thanks to the partnership among government counterparts, private sector and Civil Society Organisations,” said Mr. Andrew Hill, Deputy Country Director in charge of Programmes with Plan International Cambodia.

The existence of the Dream Centre is part of the Auto Mechanic Skill Training to Disadvantaged out of School Youth project funded by Hyundai and KOICA. With an investment of over 600,000 US dollars, the project aims to secure decent work for at least 140 disadvantaged out of school youths.

Camko Motor, Hyundai Official Distributor in Cambodia, will offer an internship opportunity to all the identified trainees who successfully completed the advance course with on the job training at the three Hyundai Service Centres and one assembly plant that started its operation since 2009. This year the company will establish two more locations owned by Daejoo Group.

At Camko Motor they will practice what they have learned, including actual use of advance service tools and technology with the standard service operation procedure. They are also prioritized to get employment at Hyundai Cambodia for the above locations. The company will provide monitoring support for students who want to run related business.

The project, with this financial investment, has created quality job oriented skill training model so that this (model) can be replicated elsewhere to benefit a much larger number of disadvantaged out of school youth across Cambodia, according to a Household Economic Security Specialists Mr. Suos Sovann.

NPIC is implementing the thirteen-month project, and Plan offices in Korea and Cambodia are providing all necessary supports to ensure successful implementation of the project including monitoring, managing the funding flow from donors and communicating with donors related to all aspects of the project.

Cambodia is the 3rd country after Ghana and Indonesia where Hyundai and KOICA jointly funded such a Dream Centre. This is part of Hyundai social-corporate responsibility activity to improve education and create job for youths.

Including the above-mentioned project, Plan International Cambodia has enrolled almost 600 disadvantaged out of school youths in our target areas for vocational training opportunities in the past two years.

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