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Skills Development Strategies of Department of Skill Development, Ministry of Labour, Thailand. : 

Skills Development Strategies of Department of Skill Development, Ministry of Labour, Thailand. Areeya Rojvithee Senior Expert on Skill Development, Ministry of Labour, Thailand, Hong Kong, 15 – 16 February 2007


  This paper has been written for the Seminar on Skills Development Policies and International Co-operation in East and South-East Asia which hosted by the Comparative Education Research Centre, university of Hong Kong on February 15-16, 2007, at Hong Kong. This paper is the part of the Skills Development Strategies of Agencies in the Region. So, the content of this paper started with the policy on skill development, education system, role of Ministry of Labour, workforce development, skill development promotion act A.D.2002, International Cooperation and proposing for future cooperation. Introduction

Policy on Skill Development : 

Policy on Skill Development The policy on Skill Development can be considered from. The policies of the National Economic and Social Development Plan. The current government policy. The policy of the Minister of Labour. The Labour Development Plan 2007.


The vision of Thailand is to develop the country to be the green and happiness society through the King’s Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy. The content deals with Human Resources Development are : To develop the quality of people and the Thai society to be the wisdom and learning society. To develop the potential, competency and skills of people to cope with the competitiveness of the country by increasing knowledge and skills for working such as analytical skill, innovation, problem solving, decision-making, team working, ethics and working discipline for working with the new technology as well as increasing productivity. The 10th National Economic and Social Development Plan A.D 2007 - 2011


Set up the system of learning and training that can be working with new technology. Networking from the basic to the professional level, and link between government, private sector, and the community for the labour development. Organizing short courses training, promote inplant training, workplace learning, and the learning centre. Set up the system that match the skills or competency to the wage structure. The skill training should be extended to the vulnerable people who are employees or self-employed people. The 10th National Economic and Social Development Plan A.D 2007 - 2011


Labour is the vital basis for the economic sector which should be strenghten by the cooperation of workers, public and private sectors on skill development and development of the quality of workforce in all levels to have high productivity and wage as the level of national skills standard. Promote the employment, supplementary occupation, labour protection labour relations, occupational, safety and health, the social security and the welfare of the workers. Policy of the Current Government


Ministry of Labour (MOL) has vital role on economic and social development, especially on increasing the potential and competency of the total workforce 36.87 million persons to have good quality of life and stay happily in the society. The Mission of the Ministry of Labour are employment promotion, skill development, protection of the working conditions, occupational safety and health, promotion of industrial relations, and promotion of the social security scheme. The Ministry is extending scope of protection to the people in the informal sector and also preparing the measure for the aging people who are increasing year by year. For the Security of the Nation Ministry of Labour has also control the working of migrant workers both legal and illegal approximately 1 million people. Labour Development Plan A.D. 2007


Labour Development Plan A.D. 2007 MOL also looks after overseas Thai workers who are working abroad 500,000 people. The content of skill development appears in the Labour Development Plan of Ministry of Labour in the strategy for providing and development of the Quality of the workforce as following : -Making Manpower Development plan. -Acceleration the recruitment and development workforce to have qualification to be relevant to the demand of establishments. -Acceleration the workforce development to acquire working competency and skill as the demand of the labour market. -Increasing yield or productivity for the agriculturist.


Labour Development Plan A.D. 2007 -Development the establishments for the quality of the workforce. -Development the labour market system. -Management of the migrant workers. The Government has primary responsibility for education, pre-employment training and training the unemployed and people with special needs. The social partners play a significant role in further training and particularly employers in work-place learning and training. Individuals are expected to make use of education, training and Lifelong Learning.


Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Thailand Vocational Education and Training in Thailand is responsible by two main Ministries. Ministry of Education is responsible for the basic and higher education as well as the Vocational Education. Ministry of Labour by the Department of Skill Development (DSD) is responsible for the development of workforce in the labour market since the age of 15 years old to acquire skills, knowledge to have high competency for employability.


The Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand B.E. 2540 (1999) and the National Educational Act (1999) serves as master legislation on education of the country, leading to significant education and learning reform. They provide principle and challenging guidelines for the provision and development of Thai education in order to prepare all Thai people for a learning society in a knowledge-based economy. Education System in Thailand


Education will be provided in three types: formal, non-formal, and informal education. Formal education is divided into 2 levels: basic education and higher education, with 12 years compulsory education. Ministries, bureaus, departments, public enterprises, and other public agencies will authorize to provide specialized education, based on national education policy and standards as well as ministerial regulations. Education System in Thailand


Role of Ministry of Labour, Thailand Thailand was one of the founded members of the International Labour Organization (ILO) since 1919, so, the development of the labour affairs have received the technical support from the ILO since the beginning. ILO suggested Thai Government to provide practical training to the unemployed persons from rural area to acquire specific skills relevant to the demand of the labour market since 1967. So, we could solve the unemployment problem and shortage of skill workforce in various industries and establishments in the same time. Since then, the development of the competency and skills of the workforce in the labour market is responsible by DSD, Ministry of Labour.


The Department of Skill Development offers various courses of training which focusing on practical training; theory 20 percent, practices 80 percent. The Pre-Employment Training. The Upgrading Training. The Retraining. (More detail is in the paper) Workforce Development


Workforce Development The DSD provides the consulting service to various organizations concerning the skill training for special target groups such as youth, disabled, homeless, drug rehab people, HIV-Aids suffering including their families and women etc. Furthermore, the special training courses for people in some area, principally, in southern part of Thailand are conducted such as Halal cuisine cooking.


Workforce Development DSD is the core organization to issue the Occupational Skill Standard and the Testing system. Skill standard setting is the classification of vocational skills in accordance with the levels of specified knowledge, competency and practical proficiency required in various occupations and trades. Skill standards are set according to the Skill Development Promotion Committee appointed by the Ministry of Labour and consist of 3 levels starting from the lowest; first level, to the highest; third level.


Workforce Development DSD conducts skill standard testing in the relevant fields as established by the Skill Development Promotion Committee. The skill standard testing examines both theoretical and practical aspects of trade knowledge, and is divided in basic, intermediate and advanced level categories. Further more DSD is responsible for the skill standard testing for workers seeking overseas jobs. The workers are required to pass the national skill standard testing or meet with particular skill standard required by employer. The implementation of this scheme by both public and private testing organizations are under supervision of DSD accord to the Employment and Labour Protection Act 1994 (2nd Amendment).


Workforce Development In order to promote the recognition of Skill Standard, DSD organizes the Skill Competitions. Skill Competitions is regarded as a means of improving the potential of vocational training and enhancing the proficiency of skilled labour. The skill competition is conducted at regional, national, ASEAN and Olympic level biennially and provincial level occasionally. DSD gives important to the Development of Training Personnel.


Workforce Development In order to coordinate with other training organizations and work in integration approach, DSD sets up the National Vocational Training Coordination Committee (NVTCC) to issue the national policies and guidelines relating to vocational training and skill development planning coordination to be implemented by both public and private sectors. At provincial level, the NVTCC 'S Provincial Sub-Committee are the board's network to ensure that skill development and coordination are efficiently conducted with the utmost benefit for people in each province. One of the main activity of DSD is to encourage the other training agencies in public and private sectors cooperate more in skill development through resources sharing, for instance, sharing of instructors, equipment, machines, tools and training materials as well as technological knowledge. Such cooperation can ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of skill development implementation.


Workforce Development As the Government concentrates in unemployment issue, the Unemployment Insurance Scheme has launched to secure the employment opportunity for labour. The DSD is one of the designated organizations getting involve in mentioned cycle scheme by providing the appropriate training courses for unemployed to be employed. DSD also providing training for the workforce in the hotel hospitality, services, and soft skills such as leadership, communication, problem solving, decision-making, teamwork, etc, for increasing productivity.


Workforce Development In order to promote our workforce to have potential to run their own business, being self-employment in the sectors of businesses and the services, the DSD with the support of the International Labour Organization (ILO) designed the training courses called Entrepreneurship Development to train our people since 1988. And the curriculum has been modified continuously to cope with the current situation and the new trend of the labour market. The contents of the training courses are consist of management skills, how to stock raw materials or spare-parts, marketing, location, business plan, accounting, E-commerce, and how to access to the sources of funding for starting their businesses. Now the government set up the consultant for the villagers for solving all the obstacles for their businesses.


Workforce Development The DSD providing various training courses in industrial and services courses as mentioned above. After the trainees possess any skill and if they decide to run their own business they can continue to attend the training course on Entrepreneurship Development. The curriculums are co-designed by establishments, professional association, academic related to the trade of training by focusing on competency of working.  


SKILL DEVELOPMENT PROMOTION ACT B.E.2545 (A.D.2002) Skill development has never been as important as it is in today’s globalizing world, where technology dictates rapid changes to the way in which skills are acquired, new skills developed and existing skills upgraded. Thai government considers that human resource is the main asset of Nation and should be continuously developed on par with the development of socio-economic and technology to be high quality resource. There is a need to rethink and broaden the notion of lifelong education and training. Not only must it adapt to changes in the nature of work, but it must also constitute a continuous process of forming whole human beings – their knowledge and aptitudes, as well as the critical faculty and ability to act. It should enable people to develop awareness of themselves and their environment and encourage them to play their social role at work and in the community.  


SKILL DEVELOPMENT PROMOTION ACT B.E.2545 (A.D.2002) Thai government has clear policy on human resources development considering that the best strategy to develop workforce is in the workplace, so the vital role of enterprises on human resources development has been recognized and the Skill Development Promotion Act B.E.2002 has been issuing for encouraging enterprises to provide training, upgrading skills, knowledge and competencies for employees and for those who are not employees. And also encourage private sector to set up and register with the DSD their own training centers for workplace learning and training.


SKILL DEVELOPMENT PROMOTION ACT B.E.2545 (A.D.2002) The incentives have been provided to enterprises by deduction the cost of training 200 percent from the annual tax payment. The compulsory measure has been applied for the establishments that have at least 100 employees have to provide training for the employees at the rate of 50 percent of the total number of employees, if not the employer have to pay contribution to the Skill Development Fund approximately 480 baht per head per year for the number of untrained employees. Further more the establishments gain other benefit under this Act such as exemption tax of the training machines, bringing experts or trainers to train their workers. Free charge of water and electric fees. According to the DSD, 890,000 workers were trained in the workplaces during OCT.2005-SEPT.2006. (Administrative Information, Ministry of Labour, July 2006.)


International Cooperation The Thai government has policy supporting international cooperation. So, line ministries have to bring that policy to implement in the scope of their responsibility, such as Ministry of Labour is responsible for labour and workforce development, the cooperation should be in this field. DSD has various international cooperation programmes and projects, both in Bi-lateral and Multi-lateral cooperation.


IMT-GT DSD has set up the Songkla International Institute for Skill Development in Songkla province, in the southern part of Thailand under the Indonesia Malaysia Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) cooperation. The cooperation projects on human resources development has been done in the form of project. Some projects that were appeared in the Action Plan 2007 – 2011. (Detail is shown in the paper)


GMS The another international institute is located in the northern part of Thailand named Chiang-Saen International Institute for Skill Development. This institute was set up to provide training for the GMS countries. The study of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) proposed that the economic cooperation in these 6 countries would strengthen this region to be competing with other regions and survival through the effect of globalization. (Six countries are Cambodia, South China, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Thailand.). Thai government assigned Maefah-Luang University to conduct the survey on the demand of training people in GMS countries and the related area in this country. The study showed that the main focus was the setting up the occupational skills standard and testing system in the GMS countries.


GMS The GMS countries agreed to adopt the ASEAN Skills Standard which was assigned by the ASEAN Labour Ministers to develop with the budget supported by the Aust-aid or Australian government. Because the GMS countries are also the members of ASEAN, this project was completed. The ASEAN Secretariat has just circulated the two new project proposals for members to consider. Thai government has offered training to people in GMS countries in various courses by the funding of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNDP and the German government. The training included the industrial, commercial and the service sectors.


ASEAN DSD has implemented many projects under ASEAN Network of Women in Skills Training (ASEAN-NWST). Besides, DSD has joined the Asean Regional Skill Standard Programme funded by Australian Government. This project completed both first and second phases. (Detail is shown in the paper)


Cambodian-Thai Skill Development Center Thai Government has provided a training center in Phnom Penh for both grant aid and technical assistance for the Cambodian Government including the training for the officials and instructors.


Other Training Ministry of Foreign Affairs has provided technical assistance to developing countries by requested and DSD is the implementing unit for skill development. DSD is also joining the ASEM Life Long Learning for Employability Programme and active in APEC Human Resources Development Working Group. There are many activities under these two regional cooperation.


Training of DSD Staff Officers from Department of Skill Development received fellowship from many sources of funding to attend training courses for upgrading their skills to cope with the development of technologies such as from ILO/APSDEP, Japan, Korea, Germany, Canada, etc.


Japan Japan government provided grant aid and technical assistance to Konkaen Skill Development Institute and Ubol Ratchatani Skill Development Institute.Thai officials, Instructors were trained in Japan in various trades during the five years project and after. The Japanese experts and volunteers were sent to work for DSD. Further more Thai youths were granted scholarship to study in Japan at Polytechnic University for five years programme in engineering, ICT, architect, etc since 1992. This programme is still existing.


Korea Korean government provided instructor training courses expecially in advance technology for DSD staffs and also sent the Korean volunteers to work for DSD in various trades nearly 40 people. Germany The German government provided scholarship to DSD staffs to study and train in Germany as well as sent experts to work for DSD in various fields. Further more provided financial support for various international projects for GMS countries, also the Songkla institute gained the technical assistance at the early stage of setting up.


Canada The Canadian government also provided technical assistance to the Surat-Thani institute for skill development. DSD is actively working with the ILO in various activities such as APSDEP, SKILLS-AP. Last year TICA, ILO, DSD and the Songkla province co-organized the international seminar for IMT-GT and the GMS countries named ILO/SKILLS-AP/Thailand Regional Technical Meeting on Developing Skills Standards and Improving the Quality and Effectiveness of Training in IMT-GT and GMS Countries. DSD cooperates with the Asian Studies Centers of the Chulalongkorn University conducting the research on Increasing Productivity of ASEAN Workforce. ILO


In order to respond the policy of the Thai government that Thailand should be the center for human resources development, so, DSD is ready to offer international cooperation for member countries in Asia and the Pacific. The activities are cooperation on training, exchanging training personnel, training resources as well as conducting research and development on HRD for the purpose of the well beings of people in the area. Also we can gain the benefit of international cooperation by broadering our vision on the issue on skill development, raising the quality of learning and training and bridging the gap between developed and developing countries. Skill Development can be applied to eradicate the poverty by creating employment. The most important is to create understanding for the well beings of our human resources. We are not compete but helping for survival from the effect of globalization. Proposing for the Future Cooperation

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