Laos Holds its First Career Forum for French-Speaking Young Graduates

1st Career Forum in Laos for French-Speaking Young Graduates
Students who participated in the event

The Cooperation and Cultural Action Department of the French Embassy and the European Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Laos collaborating with the Ministry of Education and Sports on a series of events aimed at introducing young students to the corporate world and the diverse opportunities available to them. This includes a Career Forum that was held on 13 February at the Lycée de Vientiane.

The inaugural Career Forum provided 300 students who study French at the Lycée de Vientiane, the Lycée Français International de Vientiane, and the National University of Laos, with the opportunity to interact with business managers and professionals in Laos, participate in professionalization workshops, and visit company booths.

The event focused on two key areas: meetings with professionals and professionalization and HR workshops.

The keynote speakers included the French Ambassador Ms. Mme Siv-Leng Chhuor, ECCIL Eurocham’s Executive Director Ms. Thiane Khamvongsa, Director General of Banque Franco Lao Mr. Stéphane Urbain, Directeur General of NTPC Mr. Marc-Antoine Rupp, Executive Director of EXO Travel Laos and Board Member of LNCCI Mrs. Douangmala Phommavong.

Addressing the students, the Ambassador of France to Laos Ms. Mme Siv-Leng Chhuor insisted on the importance of the French language in the job market: “Fluency in French will open many doors when looking for a job. I know some young people who were able to get a position they wanted because they were speaking French, which set them apart from the other candidates. French is an international language, spoken by 320 million people across five continents. Speaking French can really make the difference.”

Ms. Mme Siv-Leng Chhuor gives her speech on the importance of the French language

In her opening speech, Eurocham’s Executive Director Ms. Thiane Khamvongsa thanked all pupils, students, teachers, educators, partners, managers, and company representatives who have been kind enough to come and share their time.

“Laos is full of dynamic and innovative French-speaking companies in many sectors of activity. This year, the Cooperation and Cultural Action Department of the French Embassy and the European Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Laos collaborated on a series of training on the theme of professionalization and employability in universities in Paksé, Vientiane, Savannakhet, and Luang Prabang, and a series of interventions by professionals in bilingual classes in these same cities.”

She further added, “The objective of this first career forum is to inspire students, make them discover jobs they might have never heard of, discover trades and sectors of activity in need of French-speaking personnel in Laos, and highlight the employment needs of local businesses.”

Ms. Thiane Khamvongsa gives an opening speech

The Career Forum aimed to provide students with the tools and resources needed to define their school and professional projects, learn about the various business and professional opportunities available to them, and gain valuable insights from experienced professionals.

Presentations from professionals were made all day, namely for the banking sector by the Banque Franco-Lao, for the renewable energy sector by the company Nam Theun 2 Power Company as well as for the scholarship program “Study in France, making a career in Laos”.

Xlearn, an e-learning teaching project for digital marketing aimed at Lao youth was also introduced, the Lao Consulting Group presented the journey of one of their Lao civil engineer who went to study on scholarship in France and on the available jobs in a consulting company in the development sector.

The company EXO Travel also represented the tourism sector on the main stage and the top job search website in Laos, 108 Jobs concluded the event by inviting all students to also join the future job fair which will take place in March 2023.

In the afternoon, two professionalization and Human Resources workshop were held by ECCIL EuroCham to provide practical training in French on topics such as writing a CV and preparing for a job interview.