New initiative launched in Lao PDR to support hospitality skills at the base of the pyramid

Swisscontact convened a meeting of representatives from nine provinces across southern and central Lao PDR to launch the Pheun Than Heng A Sip (PTHAS) Training Programme in Vientiane Capital. Over the next four years, the programme will upskill existing employees and support people from disadvantaged backgrounds to secure employment in the tourism and hospitality sector.

Chaired by Mr Nouphanh Outsa, Director General, Department of Technical and Vocational Education, Ministry of Education and Sports, the Implementation Committee of the PTHAS Training Programme brought together over 50 representatives from the Ministry of Education and Sports, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, and Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, and their provincial departments, as well as the Institute of Mass Media, Culture and Tourism, the Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality (LANITH) and provincial Hotel and Restaurant Associations.  Welcoming the initiative Mr Nouphanh Outsa commented: “this excellent training programme will equip people with the right skills set to benefit from a growing tourism and hospitality sector in Lao PDR”.

Through the PTHAS Training Programme, Swisscontact will work closely with tourism and hospitality business associations to respond to the training needs of the private sector.  The Programme will upskill 500 staff already working in tourism and hospitality businesses and train a further 500 people from disadvantaged backgrounds - thereby facilitating their access to employment opportunities in micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).  It will also enable 36 trainers from the public and private sectors to achieve ASEAN National Trainer and Assessor certification. 

Swisscontact originally developed the programme in partnership with LANITH, the Champasak Department of Information Culture and Tourism, and the Champasak Hotel and Restaurant Association, under a tourism destination development project implemented from 2013 to 2016.  The expansion of the PTHAS Training Programme into eight additional provinces has been made possible under the wider Skills for Tourism Project (LAO/029) which is financially supported by the Governments of Lao PDR, Switzerland and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and implemented by the Ministry of Education and Sports of Lao PDR and the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency (LuxDev).