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ADB, Microsoft, Govt Expand Economic Opportunities for Youth

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB), Microsoft and the Ministry of Education and Sports have signed a Letter of Intent to collaborate and develop a technology platform to provide Lao youth with access to online technical and vocational training resources and employment services.

The document was signed yesterday by Deputy Minister of Education and Sports, Associate Prof. Dr Kongsy Sengmany, Microsoft’s Marketing and Operation Lead, Rena Chai, and Deputy Director General of ADB’s Southeast Asia Department, Noriko Ogawa.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Associate Prof. Dr Kongsy stressed that the cooperation between the three parties would help Lao youths to seek jobs and generate income for their families, saying “The platform is very significant to our government in helping young people to upgrade their skills.”

He said the ministry planed to expand this platform to not only vocational schools and other institutions in Vientiane, but also to other schools in remote areas in a bid to help young people broaden their knowledge and access skills training.

“ADB recognises that inclusive education is essential to build the human capital needed to drive innovation, increase productivity, and accelerate private sector development,” Ms Ogawa said.

“Integrating an innovative technology platform into our education sector assistance programmes will help deliver longer-lasting benefits to the Lao economy.”

The platform called YouthWorks supports government efforts to use information and communication technology to boost access to education and employment services.

It will provide an online localised knowledge repository and open-access courses, career guidance and job placement services, free of charge.

YouthWorks empowers job seekers and entrepreneurs to develop the skills and knowledge needed to find decent jobs.

The collaboration is in association with the ADB-financed second Strengthening Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Project.

The platform complements project efforts to increase access to quality TVET programmes and career guidance services.

The ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration.

Established in 1966, next month ADB marks 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totalled US$27.2 billion, including cofinancing of US$10.7 billion.

 

Source: Vientiane Times