A Cambodian startup has launched a campaign to promote paid internship culture in a bid to bridge the Kingdom’s skills gap.
Since April, CamSEED has received pledges of paid internships from 57 organizations to open 253 opportunities for students. Its one-year ‘1,000 Internship’ campaign aims to offer 1,000 university students with paid three-month internship opportunities.
The 1,000 Internships campaign will run until April next year.
“Internships have become even more important at a time when it is very hard for recruiters to onboard qualified staff in Cambodia,” said Hao Sophareth, CamSEED startup Chief Executive Officer.
In Cambodia, internships are popular among Cambodian businesses and students. It helps them discover and improve their professional skills, making them more employable for their chosen career path.
As a result, enterprises gain the ability to educate students, learn new talents, pass on experience and understanding, and benefit from the intern’s youthful mindset and new ideas.
Antoine Denizart, a freelance human resource recruiter at development consultancy Sevea, said,
“Internship is a great strategy for companies to create a pipeline of talented junior professionals, matching their organization’s culture.”
He added that youth require a lot of onboarding and training. However, they are often dynamic, creative, engaging, and fast learners, especially to optimize the modern-day digital working environment. It is also easier for companies to shape young talents with specific mindsets and skills tailored to their needs and sector.
“Actors like CamSEED have the capacity to disrupt this system and support an enabling ecosystem for internships that will benefit all stakeholders, from the academic, private sector and youth, thirsty for knowledge and practical experiences,” said Antoine.
Sophareth said the skillsets of most students do not match the needs of the employers. “That’s why we started the 1,000 Internships campaign. The goal is to reconnect the two sides, enable students to gain qualifications and experience, and employers to find suitable employees.”
Based on the released three-month result, the internship-focused startup CEO is optimistic to see both private sector and civil society organizations engage in the campaign to benefit university students, who are the future workforce in Cambodia.