Upskilling its workforce for a future ready Thailand


In 2020 the European Centre for Digital Competitiveness ranked Thailand as the second-most digitally competitive country in East Asia and the Pacific. Thailand is transitioning to a digital economy to enable greater productivity and innovation, and the readiness of the labour market plays a crucial role in achieving this success.

As Thailand moves towards becoming an upper-middle-income nation, the demand for skilled professionals has become increasingly urgent. A robust pipeline of high-quality professionals is key to align Thailand’s workforce with the needs of global organisations and the international labour market. 

Recognising this need, Singapore Management University (SMU) established the SMU Overseas Centre Bangkok (OCB) in 2023 with support and guidance of SMU Board of Trustees, in particular Khun Panote Sirivadhanabhakdi, Group CEO of Frasers Property Limited, and the SMU International Advisory Council (Thailand), chaired by Mr Chartsiri Sophonpanich, President of Bangkok Bank.

Upskilling its workforce for a future ready Thailand

A premier university in Asia, SMU is internationally known for its world-class research and distinguished teaching. It was established in 2000 to generate leading-edge research with global impact and to produce broad-based, creative and entrepreneurial leaders for the knowledge-based economy. The university is also known for its highly interactive, collaborative and project-based approach to learning.

Through Overseas Centre Bangkok, SMU hopes to strengthen ties with the Thai academic, business and industry communities by facilitating knowledge exchange, forging partnerships, fostering research collaborations, and supporting professional development. OCB’s Centre Director, Ms Celine Kuok says, “In collaboration with industry partners, professional and government bodies, via our professional and continuing education training and upskilling programmes, we hope to contribute to the areas of human capital development and training to meet the skills gaps required in Thailand.”

Upskilling its workforce for a future ready Thailand

For business leaders 

A wide range of leadership development programmes are available for working adults and executives:    

SMU Executive Development (SMU ExD) is dedicated to international talent development in a contemporary Asian setting. Integrating the best of Asian and Western practices and theories, its public programmes, and customised corporate programmes deliver outstanding returns on investment for individuals and organisations, leveraging meticulously designed curricula which address business challenges in the context of Asia.

SMU Academy (SMUA) provides contextualised programmes based on clients’ requirements and provides real-world practical case studies for Thai partners. SMUA, through the support of SMU Overseas Centre, will seek to contribute to the region’s workforce development and upskilling through transformative professional development and continuing education programmes.

Upskilling its workforce for a future ready Thailand

For changemakers and budding entrepreneurs from Thailand

SMU’s Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE) Business Innovations Generator (BIG) is an intensive four-month, equity-free programme offering early-stage start-ups and student founders the opportunity to validate their business plans, refine their products and prep for seed investments. Being founder-centric, BIG supports coachable individuals from within and outside of SMU, from and beyond Singapore’s shores, who are interested in entrepreneurship and is committed to developing the SMU and overall Singapore’s start-up ecosystem. Founders get to tap into a plethora of support networks, knowledge, and resources, including grant opportunities, world-class mentors and advisors, masterclasses, corporate perks, and access to a conducive workspace located in the heart of SMU in downtown Singapore. 

Upskilling its workforce for a future ready Thailand
Partnering for Success

SMU’s academic partners include the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA), Chulalongkorn University, Mahidol University and Thammasart University, which it collaborates with to carry out research, student exchange and study programmes. 

The university also works with local industry groups and business associations such as the Thailand Management Association to collaborate on human capital development initiatives and knowledge exchange.

In addition, SMU’s Career Centre aims to create cultural exchanges and networking opportunities for current students to build up their network and know Thailand better.  The Career Centre works with starts-ups, Small and Medium Enterprises, NGOs and big corporations across various industries for internships, events and full-time hiring, with a focus on innovation and digitalisation.

SMU Executive Development will be organising a complimentary masterclass “Sustainable Sustainability” on 12 June in Bangkok. More details are available at this link.

To find out more about SMU’s programmes or to explore partnerships, contact the SMU Overseas Centre Bangkok at [email protected]

To receive updates on SMU events organised in Thailand, follow SMU OCB by scanning this QR code 

Upskilling its workforce for a future ready Thailand