Historical background

From an educational project to the largest employer in Siem Reap province

 

 The origins

 
At the beginning of the 1990s, Cambodia was faced with the challenge of rebuilding its economy. In order to enable economic integration of young rural people who had a lack of opportunities, the Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and the Ligue Française de la Formation Continue et de l'Enseignement (French League for In-service Training and Education) decided to design a development program tailored to the country’s culture and tradition.

 

 

Mission of the Chantiers-Ecoles de Formation Professionnelle

 

The approach was simple: helping young rural people by giving them a job enabling them to earn a living with dignity. With the growing number of tourists coming to Angkor, craftsmanship revitalization was rapidly viewed as a potential niche training which would meet apprentices’ needs and aspirations. In 1992, the Chantiers-Ecoles de Formation Professionnelle (CEFP) were created to provide young Cambodians with professional skills that could meet market needs and would thus allow them to find an interesting occupation.

 

The creation of Artisans Angkor
 

Between 1998 and 2001, a program implemented by the European Union, called “REPLIC”, supported the development and sustainability of the CEFP. It created a workplace which would provide jobs for the young craftsmen that had been trained at the Chantiers-Ecoles. From this, Artisans Angkor was born.
 
Since then, Artisans Angkor has committed itself to the preservation of traditional skills that are rooted in the Khmer culture. The company is specialized in the fields of handmade ornamental sculpture, lacquering, gilding, silk painting and silk-making. It provides young craftsmen with an employment opportunity while giving them the possibility to work close to their homes. 
 
Artisans Angkor is supporting the economic integration of young people in rural areas, which is helping to slow down rural depopulation and strengthen familial bonds. 

 

 

 

Training, still at the core of Artisans Angkor mission

 

Currently, in accordance with needs, Artisans Angkor trains its new apprentices for craft work. The National Silk Center (a unit of CEFP) provides training for the silk sector. In both cases, the apprentices receive a living allowance during their free of charge vocational training period. After completion of this training, the young apprentices are granted the status of craftsmen and are given the opportunity to gain employment at Artisans Angkor if they wish.

 

Artisans Angkor has become a powerful tool for the economic integration of newly trained apprentices. The company is now the largest employer of the region and is proud to have kept Education and Training at the core of its mission.