Policy Support and Governance Gateway

Case study

Preparing and accessing decent work amongst rural youth in Cambodia

The case study explores which skills and training opportunities young people need in order to gain access to decent employment in rural areas. The research was undertaken in order to develop recommendations to support the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and FAO Cambodia in developing appropriate recommendations to support rural young people, especially those of the 15 to 17 age cohort.

The study highlights the limited decent employment opportunities that currently exist along various agricultural value chains in rural Cambodia. Poverty and the structural problems of the agricultural sector are the main barriers for youth in accessing decent rural employment. A substantial enhancement of the education system, as well as the provision of appropriate training services to ensure successful schoolto-work transition is seen as necessary to tackle these challenges. A well-balanced policy mix reflecting national and local circumstances can encourage employment opportunities and create an environment that enables rural youth. Building on previous research on agriculture in Cambodia, agricultural transformation requires promotion of agribusiness enterprises, support to community-managed organizations of farmers, promotion of agropreneurs, and investments in agricultural and rural development, particularly in infrastructure, energy, water, education and health. Moreover, most youth entering agriculture are self-employed and work as smallscale farmers. Therefore, the provision of skills and training in rural areas should focus on the skills required to be self-employed.

FAO and Humboldt University of Berlin