Govt wants universities, organisations to develop specific courses to produce skilled workers


Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Suvit Maesincee, Office of National Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Policy Council (ONES) director Kittipong Promwong, Thai Board of Investment (BOI) officials and several universities on Monday discussed developing a concrete policy to produce manpower to meet the skilled needs of companies.

Somkid said universities needed to be aware of this and evaluate whether students and the syllabus corresponded to the demands of the market, while the private sector and the BOI also had to take part in developing human resources with academic institutions. He tasked the Council of University Presidents of Thailand to coordinate with universities.

It was necessary for the government to be fully knowledgeable about the country’s demands and how it can support the plan to produce manpower and drive the nation's development according to the five-year Manpower Planning initiative, Somkid added.

ONES director Kittipong said the government couldn’t wait for students who graduate later since it could be too late amid rapidly changing technology, while skills learned in universities were not enough to meet companies’ demands.

So the ministry has launched a policy to develop “non-graduates” who can later upskill or reskill. This policy aims to create 100,000 high-quality personnel for regions both inside and outside the Eastern Economic Corridor, S-curve industries, and Boston Consulting Group model industries.

ONES is in the process of making a list of required skills needed for the future and after that academic institutions or organisations can register with the RTO (Registered Training Org) by designing courses for required academic fields to support companies, which can assign their personnel to take registered courses.

Companies that require personnel with knowledge in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field can inform the ministry of their requirements and won’t need to pay corporate tax 2.5 times the training budget and 1.5 times the wages of personnel with STEM knowledge.

The development of “non-degree” personnel is expected to correspond with the ONES sandbox model allowing the public to join training sessions, receive certificates and accumulate credits to obtain degrees. However, the plan is still in the formulation stage, Kittipong said.