ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Thailand needs more skilled workers
Migration of labour within Asean countries will begin in the next four years and career training and self-development are needed now for Thai workers to be competitive in time, said Associate Professor Somphong Jitradab, a senior official with the Quality Learning Foundation.
Filipino workers are wanted in the service sector elsewhere because of their English skills, while the Vietnamese are hard-working and patient, he said.
Workers from both countries are expected to resume study in vocational fields to enhance their skills.
"By that time, they will possess greater ranges of skills and obtain greater job opportunities. And if Thailand is not ready, they will take a large portion of employment in the mid-level labour market or the service sector."
He said vocational classes in Thailand should be made available at the seventh grade, otherwise it would not be possible to fully educate enough skilled graduates in time.
There are 400,000 graduates with degrees and only 100,000 of them get jobs, while those with vocational degrees graduate in much smaller numbers, but 90 percent of them find jobs, he said.
Weerawat Wannasiri, head of the Federation of Private Vocational Schools of Thailand, proposed making Thailand a regional hub for vocational education, with a large number of government schools and 66 private ones already available.
Few languages are taught in government and private vocational schools.
"Skills alone are not the crucial factor in making Thai workers superior to Singaporeans or Malaysians - we need to improve the Thai workers' English," he added.
Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below