Young people from various technical and vocational institutions took part in the 3rd Annual Skills Laos National Competition in Vientiane on Friday to select contestants for the 12th Asean Skills Competition, which will take place in Thailand later this year.
The event also served to raise public awareness of the importance of skills training and development.
The contestants represented a range of vocations: bricklaying, cabinet making, fashion technology, electrical installation, cooking, graphic design, and welding.
This year, 64 trainees from various vocational training centres took part in the national competition.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the event, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Dr Khampheng Saysompheng said the competition was important because each contestant had the chance to go on to a higher level and compete with other Asean participants at the regional event.
The rising standards truly reflect the abilities of Laos’ workforce in important trades, Dr Khampheng said.
The competition also provides the opportunity to exchange information and best practices regarding industry and professional education.
New ideas and processes inspire school-aged youth to dedicate themselves to technical and technological careers, Dr Khampheng added. The competition provides the opportunity for the young people selected to represent their training schools, showcase their talents, and celebrate their skills amongst their peers.
It also serves as a benchmark for the knowledge and skills of trainers and experts who have been chosen by their countries in a bid to win medals in the skills competition both at Asean and world levels, he said.
The skills areas contested are updated from time to time to ensure they are in tune with technological changes and the skills set required by the labour sector. This ensures the national skills competition is relevant and contributes to the development of skills in the region.
Laos has been represented at the Asean competition eight times since the country’s contestants first took part in 1996 when the Philippines hosted the event
The 2014 Asean Skills Competition in Vietnam saw a Lao power cable runner winning one silver medal, the highest award Laos has ever received in the contest. Prior to that Laos had never won any medals but had been awarded several certificates.
The Asean Skills Competition is held every two years to promote the development of vocational and technical work values among young people and skilled workers. It also fosters technical cooperation in vocational/technical education and training between member countries.
It encourages close cooperation between governments, industries, employers’ and workers’ organisations, and vocational training institutions, and provides a vehicle to recognise work excellence and develop a new generation of highly skilled workers.