Improving vocational education in the Lao PDR (VELA)

Project description

Title: Vocational Education Lao PDR (VELA)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Lao PDR
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Education and Sport, Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Overall term: 2019 to 2023

Teacher at a TVET College giving a practical lesson to students in the Food/Beverages and Food Production Professionals course.


After years of continued growth, the economy of Lao People's Democratic Republic has suffered from the effects of Covid-19 and rising prices. The pandemic led to a severe interruption of education and training for more than two years. Economic recovery and development are hindered by the lack of a skilled workforce, particularly in the country’s economic centres.

So far, the national Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system has provided only a limited number of graduates with skills required by the Lao labour market. The public and private sectors have not yet been able to address these challenges. Dual cooperative training (DCT), where the public and private sectors share the responsibility for skills development, can help to create a workforce that meets labour market needs.


DCT courses for relevant professions have been established in the dynamic economic centres of Lao PDR.

In-company trainer supervising students while they practice in the Automotive Mechanic course.


VELA supports the Lao Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) and the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI) in further developing and establishing DCT in close cooperation between state and private sector. Activities include:

  • At college level: developing capabilities to plan, organise and implement DCT in provinces with high demand for skilled labour. This involves close collaboration with companies, who provide 50 per cent of the training.
  • Improving IT infrastructure and its use, introducing ‘green TVET’ and comprehensive career guidance services for students.
  • In the private sector: working with the LNCCI to set up a DCT Service Centre offering tailor-made services to support businesses in the realisation of DCT.
  • Supporting a more active role for the private sector in the steering of DCT in close coordination with public actors.
  • With the Vocational Education Development Institute (VEDI): integrating the DCT approach into the training of TVET teachers and managers, as well as digitalising the training curricula.

Last update: July 2022

Additional information