This study examines skills shortages as well as growth and transformation in the manufacturing industry in Lao PDR and explores training preferences of employers in the sector. The research draws on a survey of 144 formal sector companies, focusing on the Garment, and Food & Beverage industries. The results reveal that both industries have undergone significant growth and transformation. The Food & Beverage sector has witnessed remarkable expansion, while the Garment industry has demonstrated resilience and adaptability. Although some skills shortages exist, particularly in the Food & Beverage industry, the study finds surprisingly few challenges in filling positions despite rapid economic growth. Manufacturing companies prioritize hands-on skills and experience over formal education when hiring.