• Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • Indonesia
  • Lao PDR
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Timor Leste
  • Vietnam


This profile is represented by the Ministry of Education and Sports, Laos. SEA-VET.NET shall supplement more information from other TVET line Ministries, private TVET institutions and relevant agencies in the course of time. Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to share relevant information to help us further develop the profile. 

Key Indicators

  • Capital


  • Main Industries/Sectors

    Resource-based Economy (Forestry, Agriculture, Hydropower, Minerals); Tourism



Lao PDR is a landlocked country bordering Myanmar, Cambodia, China, Thailand, and Vietnam. About 6.5 million people live in its 18 provinces, with the majority (68%) still living in rural areas. However, urbanization is occurring at a rate of 4.9 % each year. The country is largely mountainous, with most fertile land found along the Mekong plains. The river flows from north to south, forming the border with Thailand for more than 60% of its length. Despite still being a least developed country (LDC), Lao PDR has made significant progress in poverty alleviation over the past 2 decades with poverty rates declining from 46% in 1992 to 23% in 2015. The country achieved the Millennium Development Goal target of halving poverty; however, the challenge now is to ensure that all Lao people benefit from the country's development. (UNDP, 2018). According to UNDP in 2018, Lao People's Democratic Republic’s HDI value for 2017 is 0.601— which put the country in the medium human development category—positioning it at 139 out of 189 countries and territories. Between 1990 and 2017, Lao People's Democratic Republic’s HDI value increased from 0.400 to 0.601, an increase of 50.3 percent.

According to the ILO (2016), The Lao People’s Democratic Republic’s economy is undergoing imperative changes which consequently lead to significant implications for the workforce development and planning. Important growth is expected in industry and in services, mostly in mining, hydropower, trade, hotels and restaurants, telecommunications, and information technology (IT). In addition to that, the garments industry, which started out in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in the 1990s, is now one of the country’s most important export sectors. It is also one of the largest sectors in terms of employment, with 30,000 workers. As a result, the government is helping businesses and manufacturers by facilitating the export procedure. Agriculture, textiles and handicrafts industry are also some important sectors for the development of The Lao Country. (ILO, 2016). However, for the majority of the rural population, it is very crucial to ensure that growth and progress are inclusive and that environmental impacts are mitigated. Moreover, Laos needs to gain adequate and fair benefits from its resources.

The Development Plan (Technical and Vocational Education and Training Development Plan 2016-2020 (currently - 2018 - in force) is implemented by TVET institutions managed by the Department of Technical and Vocational Education (DTVE) in partnership with other organizations, particularly the MoLSW and Center for Education Quality Assurance of the MoES.

The current (2013) legislation distinguishes between short-term skills development training (less than 12 months), falling under MoLSW jurisdiction, and continuous training of more than 12 months, called TVET, which falls under MoES jurisdiction. The two ministries are, therefore, the main departments in charge of TVET in the country. However, some skills development and vocational training is also provided under other line ministries such as the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MoIC) and the Ministry of Health (MoH). (ILO 2016, p. 15).


The main TVET goals in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic are to contribute to the country’s socio-economic development, achieve poverty reduction targets, and help the country emerge from the group of least-developed countries by 2020 (the TVET Master Plan) (ILO 2016, p. 14).

The overall TVET objectives (MoES 2015, p. 40) are to:

  • Establish vocational schools and vocational training centres in necessary districts; improve and expand colleges, vocational schools, technical schools and vocational training centres; upgrade technical vocational schools in some provinces in order to provide vocational training in various forms;
  • Expand enrolment in vocational education and training to cover approximately 60% of graduate students from general education of the country to also take care of the poor, women, minorities and disabled;
  • Develop vocational education and training system in accordance with the national education reform strategy by developing the education qualification framework, occupation standard setting, standardized curricula; use curriculum as a modular/learning element and credits to facilitate the recognition of prior learning (RPL) continuous programme; use the technology of communication, knowledge of SME business management and knowledge about the environment in the vocational education and training curriculum;
  • Bring in vocational education courses into general education and pilot tests in schools where possible;
  • Organize career guidance to increase enrolment in vocational education and training and professional counselling and training to prepare for work;
  • Build and expand institutes for TVET teacher training as centres for teacher training in the country covering some of the necessary occupations in sufficient quantity and quality; develop teachers’ training on techniques, skills and pedagogy and develop administrators, as well as personnel in vocational education regularly to meet the technology information needs linked to regional and international areas;
  • Create quality assurance and assessment system of vocational education and training to ensure efficient and effective building of the workforce;
  • Improve and expand the management responsible for vocational education and training at central, provincial, district levels and other parts to support decentralization of vocational education and training; and
  • Monitor the implementation of the TVET Law and decrees, notices of enforcement, and research; improve the principle of the technical income generation, production, administration, billing, public-private partnerships and other necessary regulations.


Key TVET targets (MoES 2015, p. 43-44) are as follows:

  • Establish technical and vocational schools and centres in all provinces and some suitable districts so that all have at least one school and centre;
  • Improve and expand the existing technical and vocational schools and vocational training centres and labour skill development centres;
  • Upgrade technical and vocational colleges with potential in various provinces so they can offer training at different levels using varied approaches in line with the vocational qualifications framework; and
  • Expand vocational education and training access to reach 65% of students who completed general education to enrol in vocational education institutes: 25% enrol in MoES vocational institutes and the remaining enrol in private sector and in other vocational institutes.  

Additional key targets are:

  • At least 10,000 disadvantaged persons receive scholarships for Certificate 1 and 2 courses and vouchers are offered to 1,000 persons;
  • 40% of students enrolled for Certificate 3 and Diploma courses receive scholarships;
  • Gender parity ratio in TVET improves by 50%;
  • At least 2,000 students enrol in dual training, where part of the training is delivered by companies;
  • At least 20 new occupational standards are developed by the Trade Working Groups and endorsed by National Training Council;
  • Legislative documents on Lao Vocational Qualifications Framework are endorsed;
  • Graduate tracer studies are carried out every three years and their results are used to inform the TVET course offerings and curriculum upgrades;
  • The skills and social competences of TVET graduates are considered to be adequate by 80% of employers;
  • 80-90% of TVET students have access to vocational counselling and guidance services;
  • All TVET students complete an entrepreneurship module as a part of their course;
  • TVET institutions per year undergo external assessment in accordance with revised quality assurance indicators;
  • Annual targets for upgrading the qualifications of TVET teachers are met: 1 PhD, 5 Masters, 10 Bachelor Degrees, 12 Higher Diplomas and 25-30 “expert teachers” certifications; and
  • Functioning School Advisory Boards involving local industry members are set up in all TVET institutions.

In line with the above stated goals, objectives and targets, the Government of Laos has prioritised TVET access, quality & relevance, and governance to lead TVET Development 2016-2020 as illustrated in fig. 1.

 Fig 1 Mission

Figure 1: Laos Government's Direction for TVET Development 2016-2020

Source: Presentation (VEDI_17_10_2017.pptx): “TVET Initiative in Response to Sustainable Development Goal: TVET Teachers Development in Lao PDR”


Following key legislation has been put forth to achieve TVET goals and implement related strategies:

  • Decree on Approval and Enactment of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Development Plan 2016-2020 (currently – 2017 - in force);
  • The Education Law of the Lao PDR ref No. 04/NA dated July 3rd 2007;
  • Pursuance to the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Law, ref No. 42/NA dated December 23rd 2013 (source: MoES 2015, p. 40);
  • Decree No. 036 on Technical and Vocational Education and Training and Skills Development distinguishing between the functions of the MoES and the MoLSW (ILO 2016, p.12); and
  • Decision No. 155 on the decentralisation of education (ILO 2016, p.13);
  • TVET Law has been amended and approved by National Assembly on 12 June 2019 and ready for dissemination in the beginning of 2020.

The TVET Development Plan has been built based on specific guiding principles:

  • Alignment with the TVET Strategy 2006-2020 but taking into account socio-economic evolution in Lao PDR;
  • Alignment with the 8th NSEDP (National Socioeconomic Development Plan) 2016-2020; and
  • Alignment with the targets of the ESDP 2016-2020 (Education and Sports Sector Development Plan).

Following the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Development Plan 2016-2020, actions implemented should be based on:

  • Linkages to the economic and social priorities as well as national and local needs analysis;
  • Either a sector approach (examples: hospitality, financing, agriculture, garment, wood processing) or transversal approach (curriculum development, qualification system) but with applications through pilot projects and subsequent dissemination;
  • Various financing sources: government, private sector, foreign donors and international organizations, and individuals when possible;
  • Involvement of the Provinces for increasing roles in the local implementation of TVET schemes and better alignment with Department of Technical and Vocational Education (DTVE);
  • Adaptation of the TVET system to the needs of employers based on labour market information system and in the absence of it, based on:
  • signals from employers gathered by the National Training Council (NTC) and strengthened Trade Working Groups (TWGs);
  • Improved relations between the management of the TVET schools and provincial stakeholders; and
  • Information from tracer studies.
  • Increased focus on learning outcomes through dissemination of competency based training, DCT; and
  • Focus on high demand sectors: construction, mechanics, hospitality, electricity, furniture, automotive and agriculture.

Based on the TVET Strategy and Master Plan, training providers are encouraged to target several groups, including new labour market entrants (school leavers), existing workers, young people, older adults, and disadvantaged groups (e.g. the poor, the populations of remote rural areas, and ethnic groups). The government is providing incentives for disadvantaged groups to participate in TVET, through voucher schemes and scholarships. They currently have scholarships, but the amount will be increased to account for inflation, and larger amounts will be allocated for higher levels of TVET and for ethnic groups. The Asian Development Bank’s Strengthening-TVET project (STVET) includes support for the development of a training assistance voucher programme. (source: ILO 2016, p. 14-15)


The Development Plan (Technical and Vocational Education and Training Development Plan 2016-2020 (currently - 2018 - in force)) is implemented by TVET institutions managed by the Department of Technical and Vocational Education (DTVE) in partnership with other organizations, particularly the MoLSW and Center for Education Quality Assurance of the MoES.

Decree No. 036 on Technical and Vocational Education and Training and Skills Development, the current legal reference for TVET, distinguishes between the functions of the MoES, responsible for (TVET), and the MoLSW, responsible for skills development, certification, and testing. By separating TVET and skills development, however, the decree has led to some confusion and duplication of efforts, with, for example, the two ministries working on developing standards for the same occupation(ILO 2016, p. 12).

The current (2013) legislation distinguishes between short-term skills development training (less than 12 months) falling under MoLSW jurisdiction; and continuous training of more than 12 months, called TVET, which falls under MoES jurisdiction. The two ministries are, therefore, the main departments in charge of TVET in the country. However, some skills development and vocational training is also provided under other line ministries such as the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MoIC) and the Ministry of Health (MoH). (ILO 2016, p. 15).

The National Training Council (NTC) is an inter-ministerial organization and tripartite body with 35 members including representatives of youth, women, unions, employers, and different ministries. Its main constituents are the MoES, MoLSW, and Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI). Its president is from the MoES, and its vice-presidents are the vice-minister of Labour and the president of the LNCCI. The NTC’s members are not technical experts but rather high-level representatives. The NTC’s budget (for salaries, equipment, and other items) comes from the MoES, but its mandate is above the MoES. The NTC is the umbrella organization for all TVET in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and it plays the role of an advisory body regarding skills development issues. (ILO 2016, p. 15)


The overall share of TVET within the MoES budget was planned to double from 2.7% in 2015/16 to 4% in 2019/2020. The budget for TVET is substantially higher than that for primary or secondary education mainly due to the high cost of equipment. Lao TVET development is still dependent on foreign assistance, although the Education and Sports Sector Development Plan (ESDP) noted that the current international assistance for TVET is already relatively high in comparison to the assistance pledged to other education subsectors (12%). TVET donors support in orderto improve the infrastructure and system elements, as well as build capacity so as to achieve sustainability. This support is expected to cover a substantial portion of the needs (MoES 2015, p. 46).

The estimated budget for TVET Development 2016-2020 is around 185 million USD. This includes the MoES budget, donor support (current projects) and an estimation of the remaining needs (financing gap). International support includes ADB, German, Swiss and Luxembourg cooperation cover equipment, voucher programmes, technical assistance, curriculum development and teacher training until 2016, 2017 or 2020 depending on the project. Further assistance with ADB and German cooperation is being discussed, which, if approved, could support dissemination of developed models and identified investment gaps (MoES 2015, p. 1).

Financing 1  

Table 1: Main donors’ support for TVET in the period 2008-2015

(Source: MoES 2015, p. 48-49)



Amount contracted during the period


Planned next step after completion


25 million USD


Under discussions


4.5 million USD


Under discussions

Lux-Dev (Lao/029)

15 million EUR


Under discussions


7.616 million USD


Under discussions

Table 2: Main donors’ support for TVET in the period 2016-2023
(source: Technical and Vocational Education Department, MoES)

Several bilateral and multilateral donors have been providing financial and technical support to TVET. According to the ADB (2010), bilateral projects that have been conducted or are currently underway include initiatives from Germany (EUR 10 million), Luxembourg (EUR 7.7 million), and Belgium (EUR 1.75 million). Some Asian countries have been supporting selected TVET schools, including Republic of Korea (TVET school in Borikhamsay and three IVET schools), Thailand (TVET school in Savannakhet), and Viet Nam (Vientiane-Hanoi Friendship Vocational School). In addition, multilateral projects led by international organizations have been completed (for instance, a UNIDO-UNDP project worth USD 5.6 million) or are currently ongoing, such as ADB’s Strengthening TVET Project (USD 23 million) and the World Bank’s skills study projects (UNESCO 2013, p. 43f). Table 3 shows the budget provision for TVET for 2016-2020.

Financing 2

Table 3: MoES budget provision for TVET

(MoES 2015, p. 48)


National Education System

The key components of the formal education system in Lao PDR are (according to SEAMEO VOCTECH Regional Centre Brunei Darussalam (2015)):

  • Early Childhood Education which includes nurseries (from 3 months to 3 years old) and kindergartens (from 3 to 6 years old);
  • General Education which is divided into primary education (5 years from grade 1 to 5), lower secondary education (4 years from grade 6 to 9) and upper secondary education (3 years from grade 10 to 12);
  • Vocational Education or Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), which is divided into three levels: primary or first level (at upper secondary level), middle level and high level (at post-secondary level);
  • Higher Education (HE) which has different levels including Associate Diploma (2 years), Bachelor (4 years), Master (BA+2 years) and PhD (MA+3 years); and
  • Non-Formal Education through adult education approach.

System 1

Figure 2: Lao PDR education system; Source: SEAMEO VOCTECH Regional Centre Brunei Darussalam 2015 (UNESCO (2013, p. 18)


Formal TVET System

TVET delivery system according to UNESCO (2013, p.25f): TVET is being provided through various channels:

Public Secondary and post-secondary TVET programmes

  • Under the MoES, there are 14 TVET institutions and 8 IVET schools. In 2008-2009, 59 per cent of the almost 18,000 students enrolled in MOES public TVET institutions were in high diploma programmes. Only 40 per cent of all TVET students were enrolled in diploma programmes. Less than 1 per cent were enrolled in certificate programmes; and
  • MoES universities also provide formal accredited TVET programmes. In 2007-2008, 2,500 high diploma students graduated in forestry, engineering and agriculture at the NUOL in Vientiane. A total of 300 high diploma students graduated in agriculture, business and engineering at the University of Champasak.

Private provision

  • Total student enrolment in private TVET institutions in 2008-2009 was approximately 22,000 across all programmes in 78 national private schools. These schools typically delivered TVET diploma-level courses in English learning, Information Technology (IT), business, mechanics, food processing, automotive and electrical engineering.

Non-formal provision

  • Non-formal TVET is implemented under the supervision of the MOES in IVET schools and also in three centres in Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Champasak, as well as in 321 CLCs across the country. In 2008-2009, the three centres provided skills training courses of between five days and three months for a total of 1,154 persons through short courses providing basic vocational skills in wood processing, construction, chicken, frog and fish raising, mushroom cultivation, cookery and beauty (ADB, 2010); and
  • The MOLSW runs four skills development centres offering short and long term training courses in IT, auto repair, carpentry, furniture, garment, electronics, electricity, hospitality and construction, mainly for school drop-outs and unskilled adults. In 2008-2009, a total of 2,660 enrolments were registered in short courses provided by skills development centres. Also, some centres like the Lao-Korean VT Centre provided short fee-based courses in computing.

According to UNESCO (2013, p. 26) there are two types of institutions in the formal system: TVET institutions and Integrated Vocational Education and Training (IVET) Schools.

TVET institutions include technical, vocational or technical/vocational schools or colleges where the traditional divisions between vocational and technical or between school and college have been blurred. They offer up to three-year programmes for lower secondary school graduates and a variety of programmes at post-secondary level for upper-secondary school graduates. TVET institutions are administered by several governmental bodies (Ministry of Education and Sports, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Culture and Health).

IVET schools deliver formal TVET and non-formal basic vocational training to different target groups, including adults. They are a new kind of TVET school in rural areas, developed with the support of GIZ. So far, there are eight IVET schools under the MOES. According to the TVET Master Plan 2008-2015, the MOES is planning to further expand the network of IVET schools to cover all provinces. The District Education Bureaus, under the MOES and the Department of Non-Formal Education, are responsible for non-formal education institutions in their own districts. Non-formal education programmes in Lao PDR target three groups: (a) children and young adults aged 6-14 who did not have an opportunity to attend primary school and are willing to follow literacy and continuing education courses, (b) adults aged 15-40 who are illiterate and are willing to follow eight literacy and continuing education courses, and (c) youth and adults aged 15-24 who do not have definite vocations and are willing to follow basic vocational training (UNESCO 2013, p26).

According to STVETLAO’s “Statistics of Teachers-Staffs and Students of Public TVET Institutions from the year 2008 to 2013” there are (were) 22 public institutions (managed by the Ministry of Education and Sports - MoES) providing TVET. Apart from MoES and MoLSW, there are 11 ministries as well as other organizations providing TVET, including:

  • Ministry of Public Health with one University of Health Science and 12 Schools for Nurses
  • Ministry of Finance with three training institutes
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry: five specialised training institutes
  • Ministry of Information and Culture: five training institutes
  • Ministry of Justice: three training institutes
  • Bank of Lao: one training institute
  • Lao Women’s Union: three training centres
  • Lao Revolutionary Youth Federation: 10 training centres

There is also a total of 69 private schools delivering TVET education, mainly diploma level courses in English, on IT and business. The private TVET institutions mainly offer courses for the services sector, which do not require heavy investment in infrastructure. In 2013/2014 the majority of students in private TVET studied courses for the service sectorwhile only 4,5% studied courses for the industry sector. Therewas no offer related to agriculture (source: Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) (2015, p. 19f).

There are overlaps among short courses provided by IVET schools, Department of Skills Development of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (DSD) and Department of Non-Formal Education (NFE) of the MoES. However the priorities for NFE are different from those of DTVE. They include: literacy, recognition, bridging courses, life skills and skills for income generation. NFE supports several thousand trainees per year with three institutes, 17 centres and 8 community-learning centres.

DSD is managing one institute and four skills development centres. The training approach of the MoLSW is based on 30% theory and 70% practice.

Qualification system of TVET

There are five certificates in upper-secondary TVET and five diplomas in post-secondary TVET. At upper secondary level, the following certifications are offered (UNESCO 2013, p. 24):

  • The Vocational Education (VE) Certificate can be obtained after completing 9+3 regular programmes by students graduated from lower secondary education;
  • IVET Certificate I after 6 months of continuous education;
  • IVET Certificate II after an additional 6 months of continuous education;
  • IVET Certificate III after an additional 1 year of continuous education;
  • IVET Certificate IV after additional 1 year of continuous education;
  • There are three diplomas at post-secondary level, and a Bachelor’s degree: The Technical Education (TE) Diploma can be obtained after completing 12+2 regular programmes by students graduated from upper secondary education or with the VE Certificate;
  • The Vocational Education (VE) Diploma can be obtained after completing 1 to 2 years of continuous programme by students who already possess the IVET Certificate IV; and
  • The High TVE Diploma can be obtained after completing 2 to 3 years of regular programme by students graduated from upper secondary education, or after completing 1 to 2 years by students who already possess the TVE Diploma either as a regular or continuing programme.

System 2

Figure 3: TVET System in Lao PDR

Source: SEAMEO VOCTECH Regional Centre Brunei Darussalam (2015)


Non-formal & Informal TVET System

Non-formal TVET is implemented under the supervision of the MOES in IVET schools and also in three centres in Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Champasak, as well as in 321 CLCs across the country. In 2008-2009, the three centres provided skills training courses of five days to three months for a total of 1,154 persons through short courses providing basic vocational skills in wood processing, construction, chicken, frog and fish raising, mushroom cultivation, cookery and beauty.

The MOLSW runs four skills development centres offering short and long term training courses in IT, auto repair, carpentry, furniture, garment, electronics, electricity, hospitality and construction, mainly for school drop-outs and unskilled adults. In 2008-2009, a total of 2,660 enrolments were registered in short courses provided by skills development centres. Also, some centres like the Lao-Korean VT Centre were providing short fee-based courses in computing (UNESCO 2013, p. 25).


TVET and Workforce Profile

TVET by demographic group

According to the Labour Force Survey in 2010, a very small proportion (only 3%) of the working-age population (aged 1–64) was receiving, or had ever received, TVET. By demographic group, this proportion was 5.5 % for adult men, 2.3 % for adult women, and only 1.2 % and 1.3 % for young men and young women respectively.



Persons with TVET

Working age population

Percentage of all persons with TVET

Percentage of demographic group’s working age population


Youth (15–24)

7 201  

587 536



Adult (25–65)

65 106

1 189 543




Youth (15–24)

8 013

   601 022



Adult (25–65)

28 269

1 220 321




108 589

3 598 422



Table 4: Working-age population with TVET by demographic group, 2010

Source: Lao’s democratic Republic LFS, 2010

According to the Labour Force Survey in 2017, table 5 illustrate the distributed percentage of employment by education attainment, sex and geographical area.

System 3

Table 5: percentage distribution employment. By education attainment, sex and geographical area

Source: ILO, Lao PDR – Labour Force Survey 2017, p 43. (https://www.ilo.org/surveydata/index.php/catalog/2032/download/16711)


TVET by province

By province, approximately 23 per cent of those with TVET (24,500) were from Vientiane Capital; another 15 per cent, or 16,000, from Savannakhet; approximately 10 per cent, or 10,500, from Xayabury; and 7 per cent in each of Xiengkhuang and Champasak, with the remaining 40 per cent across the other 12 provinces, as shown in the figure below.

LFS results also suggest an important urban-rural divide regarding training. The proportion of people having received TVET was less than 5 per cent in urban areas, 2.2 per cent in rural areas with roads, and only 1.3 per cent in rural areas without roads.

System 4

Figure 4: Distribution of People receiving or have received TVET by province

(Source: Lao People’s Democratic Republic, LFS 2010)


TVET by field of training

The LFS results in 2010 suggest that the most common TVET fields of study at the national level were agriculture and livestock (12.5 %), driving (6.7 %), and computers and software (5.2 %). In urban areas, 12 % of trained people were trained in computer applications and another 10 per cent in driving. In rural areas, the most common field of training was agriculture and livestock (ADB, 2010), with 20 % of all trained people and more than 25 % of trained people from the poorest quintile. Agriculture and livestock was the only area cited as the main field of study by interviewees from all provinces; with the lowest share of people with TVET citing it as their major field in Phonsaly at 3.1 per cent, and the highest share in Sekong, with 34.8 %. In addition to Sekong Province, agriculture and livestock was cited as the field of TVET for more than 20 per cent of people with TVET in three provinces (Oudomxay, Luang Prabang, and Attapeu). (LFS, 2010).

System 5

Figure 4: Distribution of people receiving or having received TVET by field of training


TVET Performance

As stated by UNESCO in 2011, most TVET enrolment is at post-secondary level and there is a limited enrolment at the secondary level. Enrolment in TVET as a whole increased significantly over the last decade, particularly in private institutions and at post-secondary level, reaching 53,000 in 2009-2010 (UNESCO, 2011).

National Qualifications Framework

To secure equivalency between different academic and vocational qualifications, a comprehensive National Qualification Framework (NQF) is currently (2013, according to UNESCO 2013, p. 36) under development. A draft NQF proposed by the VEDI covers skills training, TVET and higher education. Currently, it has eight proposed levels: Levels 1 to 4 are for certificate levels, Levels 5 and 6 for diploma and high diploma, Level 7 for bachelor degrees and Level 8 for higher degrees. (UNESCO 2013, p. 36).

A recommendation from the UNESCO paper:

“With the imminent establishment of an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015, Lao PDR should scale up efforts in developing its national qualifications framework in order to harmonize with the Regional Qualifications Framework (RQF) being developed by the ASEAN member states. Increased policy inputs need to be added to the current efforts of the Vocational Education Development Institute (VEDI), with more emphasis on cooperation between the MoES and the MoLSW. However, it is necessary to maintain a balance between efforts around elaboration of key competencies and establishing the right conditions for quality training.”

National 1

Figure 5: Proposed National Qualification Framework

(source: Phoumilay (2012), p.9,   http://www.unesco.org/education/TVET2012/roundtable/1/Ph-Phoumilay.pdf )


TVET qualifications and programme

According to MoES 2015, p.25, the TVET Law refers to the National Qualification Framework (NQF) and lists five levels of the National Vocational Qualifications Framework (NVQF)28. However, the detailed design, level descriptors, functions and implementation mechanisms for both NQF and NVQF still have to be developed and agreed upon by a wide stakeholder’s representation.

With the support of the Vocational Education in Laos (VELA) project, a draft design of body managing the frameworks, its main functions and a tentative implementation plan has been developed. The concept includes the following functions:

  • Strategic and management functions of National Qualification Authority
  • Development of Qualification and Standards based on competencies
  • Assessment and Certification for assessment centres, assessors
  • Accreditation for assessment centres and assessors
  • Registration of qualifications and learners data

National 2

Figure 6: The vocational qualifications and their relation to the NVQF as specified by the TVET Law

(source: MoES 2015, p.25)


Referencing (alignment with regional qualifications)

According to MoES 2015 (p.25-36) Lao PDR is involved in the process of ASEAN skills recognition called “Mutual Recognition Arrangements” (MRAs) which provides guidelines to recognize eight occupations among ASEAN members and is meant as a tool to facilitate labour mobility. However, the impact of MRAs on current employment trends can be limited. The overall number of persons working in occupations covered by MRA in Lao PDR is around 38.000, which corresponds to 1.3 % of the total employment in the country.

To date, MRAs have been completed for eight occupations:

  1. Engineering services
  2. Nursing services
  3. Architectural services
  4. Surveying qualifications
  5. Medical practitioners,
  6. Dental practitioners
  7. Accountancy services
  8. Tourism professionals

The ASEAN Economic Ministers and Education Ministers endorsed the ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework (AQRF) in August and September 2014. It has 8 levels with descriptors covering knowledge, skills, applications and responsibilities. A Task Force has been set up to develop implementation arrangements. Each country has its own development program to build and strengthen national qualification frameworks supported by donors or their own government. ASEAN will use the concept similar to European Reference Qualification Framework. The AQRF will serve as a reference tool to enable comparison of national qualifications. ASEAN work on standards and recognition is supported by ILO.

Development of occupational and competency standards in Lao PDR, as well as development of curricula and training materials, have been supported by several projects, often implemented in parallel depending on the priorities of the donors:

  • Competency Based Training Packages including standards, curricula, learning materials and assessment tools for construction, automotive, business and furniture sectors have been developed by ADB STVET project;
  • Development of standards and curriculum for agriculture mechanics was supported by Francophonie;
  • MoLSW developed skills standards and curricula for construction, automotive, tourism and information technology in ILO and Korean Government;
  • Curricula for tourism and hospitality have been developed by Lanith with the support of Luxembourg; and
  • Garment Skills Development Centre uses its own standards.


Quality Assurance & Standards

With a view on improving quality of education to meet regional and international standards and to building trust in education, a specific Strategic Plan for Education Quality Assurance for 2011-2020 was issued via a Prime Minister’s Decree in 2010. Among the seven components of the Strategic Plan, six concern TVET, including examination, assessment, educational competitions and the national qualifications framework. The TVET programme specifies the development of quality standards for TVET institutions, the development of mechanisms for self-assessment, internal assessment and external assessment, the establishment of a Quality Assurance (QA) unit in each institution, the organization of a team of assessors with TVET directors and TVET Department staff, and the establishment of a council for TVET institution quality accreditation with the support of the Education Standard and Quality Assurance Centre (ESQAC).

ESQAC’s mandate is to set up testing and evaluation of students and to develop standards and quality assurance procedures for all types and levels of education provision, including public and private TVET providers. Some of ESQAC’s first achievements include the testing of students at the third grade level as well as the development of a manual for quality assurance for TVET schools. UNESCO provided support towards the development of this manual through the Capacity Development for Education for All (Cap-EFA) Laos programme.

Since 1993, quality assurance criteria in adult education were developed in the following areas: curriculum, teaching/learning methodology and assessment of learning outcomes. As for adult literacy, there are existing quality criteria on curriculum, learning materials, facilitators’ training, teaching/learning methodology and assessment of learning outcomes.

Issues At present, ESQAC activities are limited due to staffing and resource constraints. During the field missions, the review team was unable to find evidence of a strong TVET quality assurance system of assessment and examinations, but received information that the new system would be established during 2011-2012. At present, each school is conducting assessments at the local level without the involvement of representatives from the labour market. (UNESCO 2013, p. 40)

Enhancing quality assurance of assessments of learning outcomes should be a priority. For instance, the intention to develop new competency-based curriculum objectives and outcomes requires new forms of assessment. The launch of a new curriculum without a reformed examination and assessment system often contradicts the intended impact of the curriculum reform. The two issues therefore need to be handled in tandem. There is thus a need to clarify the mandate and responsibilities of ESQAC, particularly the new team of assessors and inspectors.

Finally, the development of the QA manual and its implementation will have little impact if there are no initiatives to actually address the gaps identified through the related evaluation process.


MoES's "Technical and Vocational Education and Training Development Plan 2016-2020"

The quality system for TVET institutions including standards, procedures and training model has been developed and implemented gradually through self-assessment reports and internal assessment. It is managed by the Center for Education Quality Assurance (CEQA) and includes 10 standards and 42 indicators. Workshops on quality for TVET institutions and assessors trainings are regularly held. It is planned that the QA system will be introduced in 45 private and public institutions in 2015.

CEQA is the leading organization supporting quality improvement in the education sector. Its capacity has increased from 9 to 25 staff in 3 years but the scope of its work is very broad and covers all education institutions in Laos PDR. The ’Quality Assurance Manual for TVET Institutions’ provides a basis for improvement of TVET institutions and it is used in TVET sector, particularly when it comes to supporting the preparation of school development plans.

Schools regularly prepare development plans for 3 or 5 year periods, but the templates used are not consistent. There is an overall perception that training offered by the school is not geared towards the needs of provincial economies. Strengthening TVET (STVET) and Vocational Education in Laos (VELA) projects will support the development and implementation of plans taking into account the local context and skill needs of the provinces.

The annual meeting of all TVET public institutions is an important event to present the reports of the past year and to prepare plans for the following year. The annual plan usually follows the structure of the three programmes and seven projects listed in the TVET Master Plan. The TVET Annual Development Plan 2014-2015 lists 42 activities, however without indicators and precise targets.

Proposal for a new National Quality Assurance (NQA) includes functions currently performed by CEQA for quality assurance at the national level (MoES 2015, p. 27).


Popular Courses

As of 2008-2009, 60 per cent of the 18,000 students in the institutions under the MOES were in high diploma program, with 57 per cent of all students enrolled in business program. Only 40 per cent of all students were enrolled in (middle) diploma program. Only 83 students were enrolled in mechanics, 113 in carpentry, 899 in construction, 1,179 in mining and 883 in hospitality. In total, these priority fields in the Master Plan represented only 4,000 students.

In addition, 78 private TVET institutions hosted 22,000 students, almost all of whom were enrolled in business, finance, marketing, English and IT. (UNESCO 2013, p. 27)


Hired After Completion

According to GIZ (2014), vocational education graduates are doing well on the labour market. The findings of a GIZ Tracer Study conducted in 2013 show that 63% of graduates find employment within six months after their graduation and more than 75% work in the field of their professional education. Almost 70% of graduates perceive their vocational training certificate as extremely useful. Fields of training included for example mushroom cultivation or small engine and pump repair.

Private TVET schools seem to focus on TVET diploma-level courses in English learning, Information Technology (IT), business, mechanics, food processing, automotive and electrical engineering (UNESCO 2013, p. 25)

Regarding transition to labour market and pathways from TVET to further learning, according to a recent tracer study for 1,752 TVET graduates with higher diplomas or diplomas, 68 per cent of graduates found employment after graduation, while 15 per cent were unemployed. A total of 17 per cent pursued further study. Results from the Lao-German school in Vientiane revealed that 85 per cent of graduates at certificate level (mainly in mechanical engineering, electricity, welding and car repair) gained employment after graduation. At first sight, this can be seen as encouraging data, but it should be noted that the majority (63 per cent) of employed graduates were working in state-owned institutions and 25 per cent in private companies. This situation may reflect limited job opportunities in the private sector and/or the limited relevance of current TVET programs to the real needs of the labor market (UNESCO 2013, p.27-28). According to only a small proportion of firms recruit workers directly from TVET institutions, one reason may be that employer and trade association interviews indicated a strong negative image of TVET. It was also repeatedly stressed that TVET graduates at all levels have to be trained again by the economic units (Bohlmann 2013, p2).


Quality of Graduates

At first sight the labor market performances of TVET graduates seems to be satisfactory, with a 68% employment rate. However, the majority (63%) are working in state-owned institutions and 25 per cent in private companies, which may explain how weaknesses in practical training are echoed in persistent complaints from industry regarding the lack of competence of TVET participants (UNESCO 2013, p.37).

Companies often complain that TVET graduates at all levels have to be trained again by the economic units (Bohlmann 2013, p2).

Personnel (Teachers)

TVET Personnel

Formal requirements for being employed by a school also vary from country to country. Thailand follows a strict selection process with a number of criteria. Vietnam counts primarily on the formal degree of the training programme--similar to Cambodia, where different school levels require different training programme degrees. In Lao PDR no such regulation exists. However, teachers are required to be certified at least one level higher than the course they will be teaching at the TVET school (Euler 2017, p. 28).

Candidates for a pre-service teacher programme apply at VEDI, which will send the application to all TVET institutions. These, along with the provincial authorities, select the appropriate candidates and submit their appraisal to the ministry department for approval. Approved candidates can then be enrolled in the programme.

After completion of the teacher-training programme, the graduated teachers go back to the TVET institution they were selected by before.

For in-service courses announced by the VEDI, the TVET institutions can select and nominate candidates.

Promotion to a position of an experienced teacher is mostly under the responsibility of the school. There are no national regulations to be followed.

Formal requirements as set out by a government decree are not directly linked with a teacher training degree. Rather, the decree stipulates that the candidate must possess a certificate at least one level higher than the level of the course to be taught. Within this frame, types of qualifications are looked at and balanced against the needs of the TVET institutions (Euler 2017, p. 60-61)


Salaries of Teachers/Trainers

Attracting good quality teachers is at the core of policies aimed at increasing the quality of TVET. However, there is evidence that TVET teaching is not currently seen as an attractive profession. A tracer study carried out by GIZ in 2010 on the career development of TVET teaching graduates suggests that only 42 per cent of graduates are teaching at a vocational school (GIZ 2011). Interviewees highlighted that work conditions, wage structure and career opportunities were not attractive compared to other positions on the labour market where, on average, salaries are about three times higher (about USD 200 per month in the private sector compared to around USD 80 for a teacher). Another study stated that teachers live on the poverty line. According to the study, teacher salaries relative to GDP per capita are low compared to neighbouring countries. For example, secondary teachers’ salaries are at 0.965 GDP per capita compared with 2.5 times GDP per capita for teachers in other countries in the region. Improvement of teachers’ salaries, selection and recruitment remains a pressing policy issue. One option would be to conduct pre-recruitment procedures, with the objective of training only those applicants who are truly committed to the teaching profession. In addition, incentives for trainee teachers could be established.

The common practice in TVET colleges of enrolling substantial numbers of fee-paying students means that teachers can double or even triple their salaries through extra teaching hours. This practice is understandable due to the low levels of basic salaries but has dramatic implications, including ‘preventing the recruitment of much-needed young talent and deteriorating the quality of teaching.’

Several stakeholders mentioned during the review that a decree on increasing teacher salaries by 60 per cent is due to be announced. Such increases should come as part of a wider policy approach concerning all issues linked to recruitment, career development and working conditions. (UNESCO 2013, p. 39)


Career Pathways

TVET teachers have slightly better development and promotion opportunities compared to those outside the educational system with similar qualifications. However, there are no explicit career pathways (Euler 2017, p. 63).

Upward career growth is not possible for teachers in schools where they are initially employed, so career development is rather static. It is possible for TVET institutions to hire teachers for a short period, but this happens very rarely. Even in non-formal centres almost all teachers are permanent staff, although some courses are organized only for a few weeks or months a year in their teaching field. Career progression is generally limited to a 1.5 per cent salary increase every two years over a span of 15 years (UNESCO 2013, p. 39).


Teachers' Professional Development

Responsibility for pre- and in-service teacher training is in a phase of transition. In the past, there were some specialized TVET institutions (mainly colleges) offering programs in areas such as Hotel and Tourism, Construction and Agriculture, Automotive and Electric, Accounting, Mining, etc. “In the very near future”, the Vocational Education Development Institute (VEDI) at Faculty of Engineering of the National University of Lao PDR will be responsible for both pre- and in-service teacher training.

VEDI will then be in charge of curriculum development and certification. Quality assurance is overseen by the Education Quality Assurance Center (EQAC), which was established by the Ministry of Education and Sports. Since 2011, EQAC has developed quality standards, assessment procedures and guidelines for TVET (Euler 2017, p. 54)

The Vocational Education Development Institute (VEDI) is offering all pre- and in-service programs for TVET teachers. Interviewees point to the challenges VEDI is facing in taking those responsibilities due to a lack of professional teacher trainers, facilities, equipment, etc. Basically, there are two different programs both lasting two years: (1) one for graduates with Diploma degree from technical or vocational institutions leading to Higher Diploma / Higher Diploma Continuous Degree; (2) one for students with Higher Diploma qualifications leading to Bachelor Degree.

Both vocational and educational practice are compulsory parts of the programs. Students spend 12 weeks of vocational practice during school vacation. At the end of the internship, students are assessed by the company supervisor on real work assignments. Educational practice is organized as a 16-week internship in the last semester of the programme. At the end of this period, students are assessed by a joint committee from VEDI and related institution on the ability to deliver theory and practice to their students.

Pre-service programs are concurrent and cover both technical and pedagogical competencies. Time share range: 50-60% Technical competencies; 13-20% Didactic competencies; 13-20% Pedagogical competencies; 10-15% Social/general competencies (Euler 2017, p. 56-57)

Personnel 1

Figure 7: Stages of competency development

Source: Euler, D. (2017)


Other Information

Working conditions (including incentives) of TVET personnel (teachers, school managers and trainers) are better than those for teachers at general schools. Resourcing in terms of facilities, manpower and learning materials as well as student-teacher-ratio is better at TVET schools as opposed to secondary schools. Reputation of TVET is reported to be lower than academic education, but similar to general education. (Euler 2017, p. 50)


Private Sector Cooperation


Currently, public-private partnership in TVET is being achieved through two modalities. One is the participation of employers in policy-making and implementation, mainly through the National Training Council (NTC) and Trade Working Groups (TWGs). The other modality involves the supply of TVET by private providers.

In relation to employer participation in policy-making and implementation, the Chair of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry is designated as the vice-chair of NTC. Also, the two TWGs for furniture and printing are led by employers. In January 2011, three new TWGs were established for priority skill areas including hotel and restaurant, construction and mining industry (UNESCO 2013, p. 41)


Weak Role of Employers

Most employers in Lao PDR are small and medium-sized businesses. Except for in a few booming industries such as mining and hydropower, a large number of employers are still relying on recruiting unskilled workers. Thus, it cannot be said that there is currently a strong employer interest in skills development. Despite this limitation, there is much room for enhancing the role of employers in TVET. Private sector intervention will generally not happen without facilitation by another party, whether it be government, donors or NGOs. Employers are more likely to engage in skills development at any level if the benefits of doing so are apparent, the business environment is favourable and there is minimal bureaucracy attached. Their engagement is most effective if it takes place early in the planning process.

At the national level, the participation of employer representatives in the NTC does not seem to be based on a thorough internal consultation process within employer organizations. This may contribute to the limited impact of their involvement. Systematic involvement of employer representatives is absent at the provincial level.

At the sectoral level, there are only a few TWGs. Their main focus has been the design and implementation of specific training programmes in certain geographic areas (e.g. Vientiane). They have had little impact on national policy issues such as curriculum development and qualification system design. Employer involvement in such issues appears to be as a result of individual invitation, implying no collective engagement. In short, there still exists a strong need to improve the role of employers. They should be encouraged to give priority to recruitment of skilled workers holding TVET qualifications and to cooperate with TVET institutions to accept students for internship. (UNESCO 2013, p. 41).

As a wider policy coordination mechanism, the National Training Council (NTC) has been functional since 2002. It is comprised of 24 representatives from relevant ministries and is chaired by the Deputy Minister of Education. The Deputy Minister of the MoLSW and the Chairperson of the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry are joint Vice-Chairpersons. Three MOES staff are assigned to the NTC for the implementation of its activities. The NTC’s responsibilities are in the areas of (i) the development and recommendations of TVET policy, (ii) coordination between public and private sectors in matters concerning skills training, (iii) the establishment, support and monitoring of Trade Working Groups (TWG) for identifying occupational/skills areas with representatives of enterprise associations and the public sector, and (iv) determination and development of occupational standards. This coordination system was expected to play a critical role in the implementation of the TVET Master Plan. (UNESCO 2013, p. 31).



Associations in the garment, furniture, handicraft and hospitality sectors have established their own skills development centers.

For example, the Skills Development Centre of the Lao Garment Industry Association provides short courses of up to 35 days to workers following the ASEAN Common Competence Program (ACCP) developed by the ASEAN Federation of Textile Industries and using industrial equipment.

As international experience shows, these institutions might have the tendency to extend their training offer in the future, if they feel that the training delivered by MoES does not respond to the needs of their industry.

Another example of the involvement of the private sector but, in this case, with the strong support of donors, is the Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality (Lanith) created with the support of Luxembourg Cooperation. LANITH is expected to receive further support of the Luxembourg and Swiss governments. In addition to organizing pre-service and in-service training for the personnel of hospitality sector (more than 1,500 persons for the past three years), LANITH extends its support to those TVET schools which offer hospitality courses. This cooperation will address some of constraints that TVET schools face, namely infrastructure limitation and a lack of qualified trainers, so as to support the fast annual growth of the sector (20%) (MoES 2015, p.21-22)

Current Trends & Practices

Priority Sectors

The impact of ASEAN Economic Community is uncertain but will definitively affect the evolution of the skills. As recent ILO study shows, the sectors which will see the highest increase of labour force until 2025 are furniture, vehicles, trade and transportation and services.

The priority sectors for Lao PDR are:

  • Agriculture
  • Tourism and hospitality
  • Construction and infrastructure (MoES 2015, p.14)


Skills in Demand

According to Lateef (n.d., p. 29) from ADB and UNESCO (2013, p. 29) the following 4 priority skills areas (based on labour market assessment) have been identified:

  • Construction and building
  • Mechanical and machinery repair
  • Furniture making
  • Basic business skills
Key Issues & Challenges

According to Phoumilay (2012, p.11), SEAMEO VOCTECH (2015) and Phoumilay (2013, p. 3) the challenges are:

  • Low investment and support in TVET / Absence of suitable financing assistance schemes for TVET
  • Insufficient TVET school’s infrastructure and facilities to accommodate increased number of trainees and students
  • Mismatching between TVET students produced and labour market demand and needs, thus suggesting insufficient integration of TVET with market needs
  • Insufficient training materials and out-of-date machines and tools for practical training of students / Low quality of training (due to poor quality of infrastructure, machines and equipment)
  • Insufficient teaching staff who also lack teaching skills and industrial experiences / Low qualification and low salary of TVET teachers
  • Most courses stress the importance of time and school rather than students
  • Weak inspection system / Weak TVET quality assurance system of assessment and examinations
  • Weak linkages between industry and TVET institution
  • TVET does not provide access for all target groups (especially rural and remote areas)
  • Image of TVET is poor

A few steps have been taken to overcome these challenges.

The 8th five-year national socioeconomic development plan (2016-2020) mentions (MoPI 2016, p. 117): “Increase well-regulated and efficient recruitment by collaborating with technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in improving the teaching-learning curriculum, for instance, to be more suitable with the development situation in each period and responding to employers’ demand.”

The key strategic plans guiding current government initiatives in TVET include: the TVET Master Plan, the Education Sector Development Framework, the Education Sector Development Plan (2011-2015). In 2007, the Lao government issued the Master Plan for the Development of TVET for 2008–2015, building on the earlier TVET Strategy 2006-2020 (source and more details: UNESCO 2013, p. 28f).





ASEAN Common Competence Programme



Asian Development Bank



Asian Development Bank Strengthening TVET



ASEAN Economic Community



ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework



Association of South East Asia Nations



Capacity Development for Education for All



Center for Education Quality Assurance



Community Learning Centers



Dissemination of Competency based Training



Department of Skills Development



Department of Technical and Vocational Education



Education and Sports Sector Development Plan



Education Standard and Quality Assurance Centre



Gross Domestic Product



Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit



Higher Education



International Labour Organization



Initial education and training



Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality



Lao People’s Democratic Republic



Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry



Ministry of Education and Sports



Ministry of Health



Ministry of Industry and Commerce



Laos Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare



Non-Formal Education



National Quality Assurance



National Qualification Framework



National Socioeconomic Development Plan



National Training Council



National Vocational Qualifications Framework



Quality Assurance



Recognition of Prior Learning



Regional Qualifications Framework



The Southeast Asia Ministers of Education Organization - Regional Centre for Vocational and Technical Education and Training



Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises





Strengthening TVET

Second Strengthening TVET



Technical Education



Technical Vocational Education and Training



Trade Working Group




United Nations Industrial Development Organization – United Nations Development Programme



United Nations Education Sciences and Culture Organization





Vocational Education

Vocational Education Facility Fund



Vocational Education Development Institute



Vocational Education in LAO



Asian Development Bank - ADB. (2010). Lao People’s Democratic Republic: Strengthening Technical and Vocational Education and Training Project, Project administration manual (Manila).

Bohlmann (2013): Current situation of the TVET sector in Lao PDR with special emphasis on the education of vocational teachers, http://www.academia.edu/5079889/Current-Situation_TVET-Sector_Lao_PDR-2013-11-12

CIA (2017): World Factbook Laos, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/graphics/population/LA_popgraph%202016.bmp

Euler, D. (n.d.).: TVET Personnel Development within the Framework of ASEAN Integration (Position Paper) http://www.regional-tvet-conferencelaos.org/kontext/controllers/document.php/58.2/4/337d26.pdf

GIZ (2014): Vocational Education in Laos (VELA), https://www.giz.de/de/downloads/giz2014-en-vocational-education-laos.pdf

ILO (2016): Compilation of assessment studies on technical vocational education and training (TVET) Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia, the Philippines, Thailand and VietNam, http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---asia/--- robangkok/documents/publication/wcms_458131.pdf

Lateef (n.d.): Lao PDR Strengthening Technical and Vocational Education and Training Project (Gender Action Plan): http://www.ebrd.com/downloads/research/sustain/5lateef.pdf

Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) (2015): Technical and Vocational Education and Training Development Plan 2016-2020; from http://www.moe.gov.la/tvet/images/phocagallery/PDF/nitikum/TVET%20Dev%20plan%20English%20final%20PPD.pdf  

Ministry of Planning and Investment (MoPI) (2016): 8th Five-Year National Socio- Economic Development Plan (2016-2020), http://www.la.one.un.org/images/publications/8th_NSEDP_2016-2020.pdf

Phoumilay, P. (2012). TVET Reform in Lao PDR-Challenges and Issues and Step Forward within 2011-2015 http://www.unesco.org/education/TVET2012/roundtable/1/Ph-Phoumilay.pdf

Phoumilay, P. (2013). Mainstreaming in TVET Project. Access from: https://de.scribd.com/document/170492137/Lao-PDR-Strengthening-TVET-Project

SEAMEO VOCTECH Regional Centre Brunei Darussalam (2015): Technical and Vocational Education and Training in Lao PDR; from http://seatvet.seameo.org/docs/TVET_Lao%20PDR_2015.pdf

UNDP (2018). Human Development Indices and Indicators: 2018 Statistical Update Briefing note for countries on the 2018 Statistical Update / Lao People's Democratic Republic. Access from http://hdr.undp.org/sites/all/themes/hdr_theme/country-notes/LAO.pdf

UNDP (2018). About LAO PDR. Access from http://www.la.undp.org/content/lao_pdr/en/home/countryinfo.htm

UNESCO (2011). UNESCO National Education Support Strategy Lao 2010-2015, UNESCO Bangkok

UNESCO (2013): “Policy Review of TVET in Lao PDR http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002211/221146E.pdf


  • Population

    7,037,521 (2017)a

  • Sex Ratio

    0.99 male(s)/female (2017 est.)b

  • HDI

    0.586 (2015)c

  • GDP (Total)

    $16.98 billion (2017 est.)b

  • GDP (Per Capita)

    $7,400 (2017 est.)b

  • Industry/Sectors (GDP Contribution)

    Agriculture: 20.9%
    Industry: 33.2%
    Services: 45.9% (2017 est.)b

  • Poverty Rate

    22% (2013 est.)b


  • Education Index

    0.474 (2015)c

  • Adult Literacy Rate
    (% Ages 15 and Older)

    79.9% (2015)c

  • Expected Years of Schooling

    10.8 (2015)c

  • Mean Years of Schooling (Adults)

    5.2 (2015)c

  • School Dropout Rate

    22.4 % (2013)c


  • Unemployment Rate (Total)

    1.6% (2015)c

  • Unemployment Rate (Youth -15 -24 Old)

    4.0% (2015)c

  • Composition of Workforce

    Agriculture: 73.1%
    Industry: 6.1%
    Services: 20.6% (2012 est.)b

  • a Population Pyramid
    b CIA World Factbook
    c UNDP HDR

    For official government data on key indicators, please refer to data released by official government source(s).

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