Narong Paewpolsong, secretary-general of Thailand’s Office of Vocational Education Commission (OVEC), has released guidelines on the production of vocational personnel to support investment in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), in a bid to attract investment in industries that require skilled personnel.
According to OVEC, the EEC will in five years require some 475,000 workers, of which 253,000 should have a vocational education, 213,000 should hold at least a bachelor’s degree, while the rest will need to have a master’s or doctorate, he said.
The industries targeted are automotive industry, which should need at least 53,000 people, artificial intelligence 58,000 personnel, tourism 17,000, robotics 36,000, aviation 32,000, digital business 116,000, medical business 11,000, high-speed railway project 24,000, commercial shipping 14,000 and logistics 100,000, he added.
To meet the potential demand, he said, OVEC has adjusted curriculums in vocational colleges in the three EEC provinces, namely Chonburi, Rayong and Chachoengsao. There are 10 educational institutes that are equipped to produce personnel for the first S-curve industries, namely artificial intelligence electronics, tourism, biotechnology and food processing.
Personnel will also be required for new S-curve industries in other EEC provinces, namely Chanthaburi, Sa Kaew and Trat along the border with Cambodia, as well as Prachinburi and Nakhon Nayok, he said. The industries targeted here are automobiles, smart electronics, tourism, food processing, industrial robotics, aviation, logistics and digital business.
He added that there are already 370 teaching personnel in place to help with this task.
Apart from eyeing the development of a new workforce for the EEC area, he said, OVEC is also developing vocational institutes so they can upgrade to centres for specialised technical education in both targeted industry groups and advanced industries.
There are currently 92 vocational institutes with necessary faculties such as aircraft mechanics, rail systems, petrochemicals, power generation, commercial marine shipping, smart farming, mechatronics, robotics, digital technology, modern automotive and aviation business, he said.
He added that OVEC has submitted a budget request of 1.132 billion baht ($35.75 million) for building both a workforce and teaching staff.
Narong said: “Though this project only requires 1.1 billion baht, we can develop existing teachers and boost the teaching force to 2,490 people.
“Increasing the number of people who complete their studies in vocational college or pick up a bachelor’s degree by 65,570, including 20,750 students in these fields, will make them an important resource for the country.”
Apart from building a highly-skilled workforce for industry, he said, OVEC also aims to open schools to teach English and Mandarin languages to 700,000 students, as well as a job-seeking institute for vocational students.
THE NATION (THAILAND)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK