Competitive Workforce – A Public-Private Partnership Initiative
The Thai Government has adopted a policy-driven approach, also referred to as the Civil-State mechanism, which promotes collaboration between public-private sectors and the civil society.
In this context, a Public-Private Steering Committee is leading the ‘Competitive Workforce’ project with the aim to support and develop the Thai economy. The project builds on the concept of "Pracharat” or "state of the people”, which calls on all sectors of society to join hands in strengthening the country’s competitiveness.
Four pillars comprising Governance, Innovation & Productivity, Human Capital Development, and Wealth Distribution form the Public-Private Steering Committee’s grand strategy. The pillar of Human Capital Development is expected to create a competitive workforce that will eventually reduce inequality, improve human capability, and increase competitiveness.
Twelve working groups, seven of which act as ‘drivers’ and five as ‘enablers’, are working towards achieving the committee’s goals. ‘Competitive Workforce’ is a part of the enablers group.
Under the initiative, three ministries - the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Industry - have joined hands with 13 leading private organisations by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on partnerships for a competitive workforce.
The objectives of the project are:
- To upgrade the quality of Thai labour skills in response to the demand of the labour market in the ASEAN Community; and
- To provide greater job opportunities for vocational students.
Public-Private Steering Committee ensures a competitive workforce through:
- The Excellent Model School (EMS) Project
This project aims to improve the quality of teachers in each field from 68 universities in Thailand. Teachers are given the opportunity to visit factories and study how private firms operate. Teachers need to assimilate their experience and new knowledge to develop well-rounded curricula that integrate theory with practice for students. In addition, private companies help in constructing a monitoring system to be used at schools.
- Re-branding Vocational Training
This involves a series of videos promoting the Excellent Model School (EMS) project, as well as insights and achievements of vocational students including graduates who have been hired by various companies.
- Database of Labour Demand & Supply
This includes an integrated database system to determine the demand and supply of labour in the market estimated through a web-based survey sent to relevant stakeholders at the provincial level.
- Standards & Certification Centre
This involves standardisation of professional qualifications in accordance with the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), based on the ASEAN Framework Agreement (AQRF).
2017 witnessed a 50% increase in the number of vocational students from 8,789 students to 13,184 students.