LAI and Human Resource Development

At a national level, Human Resource Development refers to the training and education of citizens to meet the skill needs of the country to meet the social and economic goals of the country.  At an organisational level, human resource development refers to the training and development of individuals within the organisation to obtain the skill levels required to achieve the goals of the organisation.    

Education and training in Laos is struggling to meet the demands of the Lao economy. There is increasing pressure to generate the human resources required to sustain economic growth and support the development of new enterprises. Workforce education and skills in Laos compare poorly to similar economies, resulting in a workforce that is ill-equipped to contribute towards a more modern economy.

At the regional level, the need for the development of human resources is also pushed by the integration into the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), created in 2015, at which time ASEAN countries officially entered into a single market, including in the labour market.  Within ASEAN the demand for a mix of managerial, technical and core employability skills will increase. To become competitive in the ASEAN market, Laos must rapidly build the skills of its workers and improve its productivity.

The public sector in Laos lacks skills in human resource management and human resource development. Few staff in these agencies have expertise or training in human resource development (HRD) or human resource management (HRM), and thus have limited capacity to develop strategic HRD plans against Ministry responsibilities, to undertake job analyses, or to develop training plans.   

LAI’s program of activities in the second phase from 2017 to 20121 is designed to meet these HRD and HRM needs and to address constraints. 

The Goal of the second phase is to ensure that Lao is making good use of all its human resources to advance sustainable development.  LAI will help Laos to achieve this through scholarships, training and organisational capacity building.

At the strategic level, LAI will support the Australian Government to undertake an Annual Dialogue on Human Resource Development, involving the Government of Laos’ National Human Resources Development Commission and a range of multilateral and bilateral donors.  This Dialogue will bring together policy makers, researchers and funding agencies to review and monitor progress towards achieving the aims of the National HRD Strategy.

To address current and emerging HRD needs, LAI has a number of ‘tools’, which are planned and implemented in conjunction with our partners.  These include:

  • Australia Awards, long term scholarships in Australia, with approximately 30 new awards each year;
  • Laos Australia National Scholarships, with at least 70 new awards each year and 280 students currently studying at the National University of Laos and Souphanouvong University;
  • Technical advice to the Government of Laos on human resource management policies and practices for the civil service;
  • Targeted training and professional development for key agencies, including the Ministry of Education and Sports and the Ministry of Home Affairs, focusing improving human resource management;
  • Leadership programs for senior women executives and managers in the public and private sectors, and job readiness programs for new women graduates;
  • A program of English language training for the disability sector and people living with a disability, and
  • An expanded program of Australian alumni support and engagement activities.

The Annual Plan and Annual and Six Monthly Reports contain details of these activities, and regular news items are featured on this website.