Human resource development to cope with demand for skilled labor in ASEAN

As the ASEAN Community has already come into being, the demand for skills has grown. Thailand is accelerating the development of its human resources, so that Thai workers will be equipped with more skills to cope with the demand for skilled labor in this region.

Director-General of the Thai Department of Skill Development (DSD) Kreeta Sopchoak said that emphasis would be placed on cooperation with the private sector, under the mechanism of "state of the people,” which encourages government agencies to work in close cooperation with other sectors.

The DSD aims to increase labor productivity. It believes that, with greater skills, Thai workers will be able to increase labor productivity, and this would reduce production costs. A target has been set to develop skills for 100,000 workers to accommodate the ASEAN Community through various training projects, such as those concerning languages, tourism, and services.

In special economic zones, the Department will provide skill training for 15,000 workers. It is also preparing to set up two additional skill development centers, one in Mae Sot, Tak province, and the other in Aranyaprathet, Sa Kaeo province.

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Meanwhile, the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board is working on the five-year 12th National Economic and Social Development Plan, to be implemented from October 2016 to September 2021. The development of human resources is cited as the most crucial part of the 12th National Development Plan, which also attaches great importance to maximizing opportunities for beneficial regional integration.

The current 11th National Development Plan also focuses on human resource development, aimed at increasing resilience to change. Skills for lifelong learning will be developed, as well, with an emphasis on knowledge, innovation, and creativity.

Permanent Secretary for Labor M.L. Puntrik Smiti said that the Ministry of Labor had worked out its labor strategy, 2015-2016, in line with the 11th National Economic and Social Development Plan and the framework of the 12th National Development Plan, as well as the Master Plan on Labor, 2012-2016. 

Smiti added the labor strategy consists of four strategic plans. The first plan seeks to promote employment for Thai people. The second plan seeks to enhance Thai labor skills to international standards. In the third plan, labor protection will be developed to international standards and workers will be ensured of job security. The fourth plan involves labor management with international cooperation.

She said that these strategic plans were worked out from an analysis of changes in demographic, labor, and economic structures, as well as the formal establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community. 

Other issues that were taken into consideration were impacts from the freer movement of skilled labor in this region and human trafficking, so that Thailand would be able to deal effectively with the new situation.


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