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Skills for Quality Jobs and Development in Lao PDR : A Technical Assessment of the Current Context  [2013]

World Bank

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Lao has embarked on an ambitious plan to transform its economy, reduce poverty, and graduate from least developed country status by 2020. The objectives of this report are 1) to provide critical information to the Government of Lao PDR (GoL) about existing skills gaps in Lao; 2) to provide the GoL and the steering committee that will revise the Human Resource Development Strategy 2000-2020 (and link it to the 8th NSEDP) with evidence of the current skills situation in the country, to better inform decisions and human resource planning for the future; and 3) to provide the GoL, the World Bank, and other development partners a baseline of skills indicators against which to measure progress going forward. Lao's economic growth has led to increased demand for workers at all skill levels, but employers have a difficult time finding workers to meet that demand. The lack of skills among the workforce is the most commonly cited constraint. The first priority will be to increase the limited flow of students progressing to higher education levels, in part due to high dropout rates among students (especially in rural areas) in primary school or between primary and secondary school. The second priority will be to increase the level of cognitive skills among the population by improving the quality of the education system. The third priority will show as Lao's economy moves forward, skills taught in the higher education system will need to becom
e better aligned with labor market needs. The fourth priority will be to promote lifelong learning and skills upgrading by increasing the incentives and opportunities of workers to skill up, and employers to invest in the skills of their workers.