Improved Skills Through Hospitality Training in Cambodia

Labour market insertion
The Career Pathway of Ms. Lihouy Tiev

Lihouy Tiev started as a baseline service staff member and is currently an assistant to the manager. The 21-year-old has more than one story to tell about her journey in the hospitality field, which she believes has dramatically shaped her career and made her who she is today.

Her story started when she was a high-school graduate who needed to earn a living and sustain her family. She then embarked on the first job at a locally-funded restaurant of Atelier. New to the industry, Lihouy knew little about hospitality-related work. Initially, she used her observation skills to learn and needed to rely on instructions from her colleagues. Things were tough for her in the beginning but her determination won the day as she persevered.

It was not until she was introduced to an industry-oriented in-house training model that she grabbed the opportunity to accumulate necessary skills to excel in the hospitality field.

“He [manager] did not directly refer me to the training... but I think this is a good opportunity for me because I have never joined any hospitality training before,” reflects Lihouy.

“He [manager] did not directly refer me to the training... but I think this is a good opportunity for me because I have never joined any hospitality training before,” reflects Lihouy.

The training provided Lihouy with profound knowledge on industry-based skills and on-the-field-practices such as serving (non-)alcohol drinks, greeting customers, managing front desks. Interestingly, working on soft skills such as communication, conflict resolution and teamwork on the job are also important parts of the training, all of which Lihouy has utilised to her full advantage.

“I felt self-confident as I had obtained substantial resources [knowledge] for myself. If I were to identify one lesson from the training that helped me achieve my development, it would be those hospitality knowledge and communication skills. For me, the hospitality training is a very beneficial project for Kampot [province], because it has provided both opportunity and knowledge to hospitality workers who did not possess enough skills, and also help them to obtain higher income” she claimed.

As a direct beneficiary of the hospitality training, her acquired skills from the training contributed that she was regularly promoted on the job. Her afterglow is even witnessed by her manger David Meinnel:

“Lihouy who participated in the training last year is now my assistant manager and she’s one of the most valuable assets for our company, I think that the training showed her that hospitality might be a career path and that the hard work pays off.”

As a genuine learner and enthusiast, Lihouy’s passion for hospitality doesn’t stop there, as reflected by her passion to share what she has learnt with others.

“I have always shared and must share my knowledge from the training to other staff because I wanted the place [Atelier restaurant] to develop and also for the sake of other staff’s self-development,” she highlighted.

Lihouy started her career as a service staff member at Atelier. Through her time there and especially having undergone hospitality training, she was promoted to a team leader position in mid-2018 and later to manager assistant. She now finds herself undertaking further tasks in dealing with business partners and overseeing restaurant staff. As she progresses, Lihouy, in the future, is planning to run her own business in the hospitality and service sector as her career path.

Hospitality Kampuchea (HoKa) is the 1st In-House training programme targeted at the existing low-skilled workers of hotels and restaurants who can apply the technical skills in their workplace. The HoKa training is aligned with the National Qualification Framework of Cambodia as well as the ASEAN Qualification Reference Framework (AQRF) under the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Tourism Professionals (MRA-TP). HoKa is geared towards the food and beverage servers, front office and housekeeping.

The Mekong Inclusive Growth and Innovation Programme (MIGIP):

MIGIP works in the tourism and agriculture sectors in Cambodia. The tourism work focuses on developing the tourism sector by strengthening institutions, structures, skills and processes in destination management. To this end, MIGIP analyses tourism flow and then support partners to offer new products and services targeted to specific tourist segments management through tourism working group.

Mekong Inclusive Growth and Innovation Programme (MIGIP) is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Happel Foundation and the Kuoni and Hugentobler Foundation.