The Lao youth are important agents of change in Laos. Their presence is becoming more and more important as Lao PDR anticipates increasing integration in regional markets, specifically in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community. The aspirations of these youth—what they want to become and achieve in the future in terms of education and employment— will profoundly shape the country’s development. With rapid changes anticipated, the country will need more professionals and skilled workers to fuel the growing economy. The government can support the promotion of vocational education as a way of addressing the skills gap that will be faced by businesses. With limited resources, the country needs to prioritise development programmes to achieve socio-cultural situation in society, in three aspects: 1) youth current situation; 2) youth aspirations; and 3) youth perspectives of future. sustainable, broad-based economic development. Critical to this are improvements in education quality, political and socio-economic environment and an emphasis on addressing the key concerns of the vulnerable segments of society.
The objective of the Study on the Aspirations and Expectations of the Youth in Lao PDR, especially in relation to Technical and Vocational Education, was to generate much needed evidence that could be used in the development of effective programmes in Lao PDR to mobilise their participation through sharing their talents, passion and commitment for their own development. The study was designed to investigate the Lao youths’ aspirations, knowledge, expectations and perspectives as to their economic, political, socio-cultural situation in society, in three aspects: 1) youth current situation; 2) youth aspirations; and 3) youth perspectives of future.