• Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • Indonesia
  • Lao PDR
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Timor Leste
  • Vietnam

Thailand

This profile is represented by the Ministry of Education (MoE) Thailand and the Office of the Vocational Education Commission (OVEC). SEA-VET.NET shall supplement more information from other TVET line Ministries, private TVET institutions and relevant agencies in the course of time. Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to share relevant information to help us further develop the profile.

Key Indicators


  • Capital

    Bangkok

  • Main Industries/Sectors

    Automobiles & Automotive Parts; Electronics; Financial Services; Tourism

ECONOMY

TVET

Mission

The TVET mission in Thailand exists in relation to a national framework advocated by the government. The long-term strategy at the national level for all fields in Thailand is governed by the 20-year National Strategy. Additional strategy plans and blueprints of other government ministries and agencies are required to comply with the strategies identified in the National Strategy.

The 20-year National Strategy is vital to understanding any government policy in Thailand under the current Constitution. In the 2017 Constitution, it is stated that Thailand as a sovereign entity must follow a National Strategy towards sustainable development. This led to the formation of the Steering Committee for Creating the National Strategy Act, whose members comprise the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, senior government officials, heads of public organisations, Chambers of Commerce and Associations and academics. The Steering Committee members envisioned a national strategy that would see Thailand becoming a stable, prosperous and sustainable country and recognised as a developed nation through the application of the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy.

In order to achieve this vision, six main strategies for Thailand were identified.

  1. Security and stability: This strategy focuses on three levels: global security, regional security and internal security with the aim of protecting and strengthening Thailand’s security and autonomy along with the stability of its constitutional monarchy.
  2. Competitive advantage: This aims to increase the GDP per capita in Thailand to $15,000 by 2036 along with GDP growth of 5-6% annually for 15 consecutive years. A further aim is for Thailand to increase its productivity by 3% annually.
  3. Human Resource development: The goal is to develop Thailand’s human capital into one that is equipped with the skills required for the 21st Century, namely digital literacy, lifelong learning and ability in STEM fields in order to become a highly skilled workforce.
  4. Equal opportunity and social equality: The strategy aims to achieve social inclusion, social empowerment and social cohesion in Thailand by the end of 2036.
  5. Environment: This aims for reduction in energy consumption and the amount of greenhouse gases produced by 20-25% by 2030. It includes a goal to transform approximately 50 million acres (128 million rai) into forests.
  6. Civil service reform: The strategy aims to make the civil service more cost effective and efficient, whilst reducing the level of corruption. The aim is for Thailand to be ranked in the top 10 of the IMD survey and score no less than 80 points on the Corruption Perception Index.

According to the 2017 Constitution, the National Strategy 20 Years will be the primary strategy that additional strategies, blueprints and plans drafted by governmental agencies must link and align with it.


The following plans are additional plans for education and TVET, which emphasise on economics and education, which links to the National Strategy 20 Years.

  1. The National Economic and Social Development Plan (NESDP) is enshrined in the Royal Act of the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council 2018. Article 14 of the Act states that the NESDC shall construct a plan that is relevant to and coincides with the National Strategy. Article 19 states that once the NESDC has received approval from the Cabinet on its draft plan, this draft plan shall be officially announced and enforced. All ministries and government agencies are bound to construct an annual operational plan for their organisation, and this shall be included in their annual budget report.

This led to the creation of the 12th National Economic and Social Development Plan (NESDP) 2017-2021 based on the mandate of the NESDC Act. It is specifically aimed at translating the policy objectives of the National Strategy into a national action plan and encompasses the following:[27]

  • Enhancing human resource development
  • Reducing social inequalities
  • Enhancing sustainable economic competition
  • Conserving and improving the environment for sustainable development
  • Enhancing national security
  • Effective reorganisation of the public sector, corruption prevention and building of a fair society
  • Enhancing infrastructure and logistics
  • Enhancing science, technology, research and innovation
  • Enhancing cities and special economic zones
  • International development cooperation
  1. The National Education Plan 2017-2036 provides details on the strategies and goals for education in Thailand and is succinctly aligned with the National Strategy and the NESDP. The National Education Plan includes 6 strategies:

1. Preservation of the country’s security through educational restructuring: The objective is to use education as one of the means to strengthen and secure the sovereignty of Thailand against traditional and non-traditional threats, in particular from social media and radical ideologies. The restructuring of the education system should aim to create not only technical knowledge, but also soft-knowledge and skills that would be suitable for the 21st Century.

2. Strengthening of Thailand’s competitiveness through the development of human resources and research: The objective here is to develop and prepare the human resources of Thailand for the demands of the labour market and the skills required for Industry 4.0 and the 21st Century.

3. Human resource development and promotion of life-long learning: The goal is for the current and future Thai workforce to possess the skills and competencies that match the skills needed for the 21st Century.

4. Equal access to education: Increase the general public’s access to education and information.

5. Formulation of a Green education: Instil awareness and social responsibility in students in relation to the environment.

6. Improvement of educational management system: Improve the effectiveness of the management system in education.

It is worth mentioning that Thailand’s strategies, specifically the NESDP and the National Education Plan, adhere to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) particularly Goal 4: Quality Education, which emphasises improvement in educational quality[28]. In addition, as one of the members of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO), Thailand adheres to the pursuit of promoting Technical and Vocational Education and Training, a regional common development goal set as one of the SEAMEO 7 priority areas (2015-2035).

TVET legislation and strategy in Thailand, as demanded by the Constitution, will have to align and comply with the demands of the National Strategy and the blueprints stated above. The following section examines in more detail the laws and strategies regarding TVET in Thailand.

 

Legislation

The relevant governmental bodies and agencies are allocated authority and mandates through the legislation. These can be divided into two main categories:  legislation concerning the regulation of a subject, in this case Education and TVET; and legislation related to the authority and mandate of government entities.


National Education Act and Vocational Education Act

The overarching legislation for education in Thailand is the National Education Act (1999 and amended in 2002). The Act covers the basic guidelines and objectives for the education system in Thailand, in which the government seeks to provide equal rights and opportunities to education for all Thai citizens for a duration of at least 12 years [29]. In addition, this National Education Act also mentions, albeit briefly, TVET in Thailand, but crucially allocates the authority for matters related to TVET as determined in the Vocational Education Act (2008). The Act oversees and governs matters related to TVET and fosters human resource development and economic growth in the country. In addition, the National Education Act gives authority and responsibility to the Ministry of Education to oversee the issues related to education in Thailand. The Vocational Education Act also gives authority to the Office of the Vocational Education Commission (OVEC) to oversee matters related to TVET in Thailand. The National Education Act is thus the overarching legislature and the Vocational Education Act is subordinate to it. That said, the Vocational Education Act retains autonomy in the details related to TVET in Thailand.


 Ministry of Education and the Office of the Vocational Education Commission

With legislation differentiating between Education and TVET, the separation and determination of the responsibilities of the relevant government entities is required. The Ministry of Education Separation Act states that the Ministry of Education (MOE) shall be the primary authority with the mandate for overseeing and steering the entire education system in Thailand to align with the 20-year National Strategy and additional plans. When it comes to TVET, the Separation Act allocates the authority and mandate for overseeing matters related to TVET to the Office of the Vocational Education Commission (OVEC), with the proviso that the MOE’s operational strategy aligns with the National Strategy and relevant plans. This means the OVEC’s operational strategy must also be in line with the MOE’s operation strategy, the National Strategy and relevant plans. From a top-down perspective, the National Education Act and the MOE govern the entire education system in Thailand, but when it comes to TVET, the mandate is given over to the Vocational Education Act and the OVEC to execute the broader strategy.

 

Strategy

As stated in the previous section on the governing legislation and the authority given by the legislation to the MOE and OVEC, this section examines the strategy established by the MOE and OVEC and illustrates its alignment with the National Strategy and additional plans.

Under the Constitution of Thailand, all ministries and government agencies are bound to operate in compliance with the National Strategy and comply with additional plans, namely the 12th National Economic and Social Development Plan (2017-2021) and the National Education Strategy 2017-2036. The objectives of the MOE operational strategy are given below.  

The MOE operational strategy aims to develop an educational strategy that will enhance the quality of education in Thailand, develop the human resources and support the country’s sustainable development. The components of the MOE action plan and its connection to the National Strategy, the NESDP and the National Education Plan are:

  1. Development of educational curriculum and evaluation mechanisms to ensure that students have the necessary skills and knowledge for the 21st Century;
  1. Development of teachers and educational officers with the capabilities to effectively perform their functions in such a way that respond to the needs of the country; 
  1. Development of human resources in accordance with the requirements of the country by producing capable TVET teachers who will be able to train students effectively; 
  1. Expansion of access to education and life-long learning so that all students, including disadvantaged groups, enjoy a good quality of education.; 
  1. Development of digital systems for education in order to expand access to knowledge platforms for educational institutions; 
  1. Establishment of a mechanism that promotes stakeholder involvement thereby improving the agility of the management system in the education field.

As stated earlier, the Office of the Vocational Education Commission (OVEC) is the primary authority for matters related to TVET in Thailand. The OVEC operational strategy must comply with the objectives set forth by the MOE operational strategy, the National Strategy and relevant plans, although the methods for achieving such objectives are decided by the OVEC.

The OVEC’s objectives include:

  1. National Security through Vocational Education: Equip students with the values of a responsible citizen and strengthen stability for them from non-traditional threats. 
  1. Competitive advantage through TVET personnel development: Prepare the TVET students with the competences demanded by the industries, and enhance qualifications, research and innovation.
  1. Economic advancement by building the capacity of TVET personnel: Develop TVET personnel with competences relevant to Thailand 4.0, enhance training deliveries for TVET personnel and students, develop curricula and establish cooperation in developing TVET personnel capacities.
  1. Equal opportunity and access to vocational education: Ensure equal access to quality TVET education for all through adequate infrastructure and a data base system.
  1. Environmentally friendly TVET: Encourage environmental awareness as part of TVET education.
  1. Reforming and enhancing the management of Vocational Education: Develop the vocational management system and network, while developing a quality assurance system.

The figure below illustrates how the OVEC operational strategy, the MOE operational strategy, the National Education Plan and the NESD plan link back to the 20-year National Strategy (Please view the table below). The detailed projects and action plan of the OVEC and MOE are not included in this Country Profile as when preparing their annual budgets, each ministry and governmental entity is obliged to submit their annual action plan on activities for the next government budget year.

The detail of activities planned to be executed by both MOE and OVEC will have major or minor changes from year to year, but the linkages to the strategy objective set out in the MOE and OVEC operational strategy and the linkages to the National Strategy 20 Years and additional plans will not differ.

It can therefore be concluded that TVET in Thailand operates in accordance with the broader framework determined by the MOE and as dictated by the national objectives stated in the National Strategy, the NESD Plan and the National Education Plan.

Linkages to the National Strategy 20 Years and additional plans

National Strategy 20 Years (2018-2037)

NESDP

National Education Plan

MOE Operational Strategy

OVEC Operational Strategy

 

 

 

Strategy on competitive advantage

  • Enhance human resources development
  • Enhance sustainable economic competition
  • Reduce social inequalities
  • Strengthen Thailand’s competitiveness through the development of human resources and research
  • Human resources development and promotion of life-long
    learning
  • Equal access to education
  • Development of educational curriculum and evaluation mechanisms
  • Development of teachers and educational officers with the needs of the country
  • Development of human resources in accordance with the requirements of the country
  • Expansion of access to education and life-long learning
  • Competitive advantage through TVET personnel development
  • Economic advancement by building the capacity of TVET personnel
  • Reforming and enhancing the management of vocational education
  • Equal opportunity and access to vocational education

 

Strategy on human development

  • Enhance human resources development
  • Enhance sustainable economic competition
  • Reduce social inequalities
  • Strengthen Thailand’s competitiveness through the development of human resources and research
  • Human resources development and promotion of life-long
    learning
  • Equal access to education
  • Development of educational curriculum and evaluation mechanisms
  • Development of teachers and educational officers with the needs of the country
  • Development of human resources in accordance with the requirements of the country
  • Expansion of access to education and life-long learning
  • Competitive advantage through TVET personnel development
  • Economic advancement by building the capacity of TVET personnel
  • Equal opportunity and access to vocational education

 

Strategy on equal opportunity and social equality

  • Enhance sustainable economic competition
  • Reduce social inequalities
  • Enhance infrastructure and logistic
  • Enhance science, technology research and innovation
  • Human resources development and promotion of life-long
    learning
  • Equal access to education
  • Improvement of educational management system
  • Expansion of access to education and life-long learning
  • Development of digital systems for education
  • Competitive advantage through TVET personnel development
  • Economic advancement by building the capacity of TVET personnel
  • Equal opportunity and access to vocational education

Strategy on civil servant reformation

  • Effective reorganisation of public sectors, corruption prevention and building a fair society
  • International development cooperation
  • Improvement of educational management system 
  • Establishment of a mechanism that promotes stakeholder involvements
  • Reforming and enhancing the management of vocational education
Governance

As stipulated in the 1999 National Education Act, the Ministry of Education (MOE) is the main agency responsible for promoting and overseeing the provision of education at all levels, including basic and higher education, and of all types, including formal, non-formal and informal education.  

From 2003-2019, the MOE’s administration and management system at the central level was operated by 5 main bodies: the Office of the Permanent Secretary (OPS), the Office of the Education Council (OEC), the Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC), the Office of Vocational Education (OVEC) and the Office of the Higher Education Commission (OHEC).

However, since May 2019, the Office of the Higher Education Commission has been merged with the Ministry of Science and Technology, in accordance with the 2019 Higher Education Act.  Consequently, the main bodies at the central level of the MOE and their responsibilities are as follows:

1) The Office of the Permanent Secretary is responsible for coordinating administrative and budgetary affairs within the Ministry, setting forth the Ministry’s policy, guidelines and work plans, as well as supervising the provision of non-formal, informal and private education;

2) The Office of the Education Council is responsible for formulating policies, plans and standards of national education, mobilising educational resources, evaluating educational provision, conducting research and developing educational laws;

3) The Office of the Basic Education Commission oversees the provision of general education from pre-primary to upper secondary levels to ensure that all school-aged children have access to basic education; and

 4) The Office of the Vocational Education Commission administers the provision of technical and vocational education (TVET) from upper secondary level to post-secondary education whereby the nation’s labour market demands are incorporated into the matrix.

In addition, there are 4 government-supervised agencies, comprising the Teachers’ Council of Thailand, the Office of the Welfare Promotion Commission for Teachers and Educational Personnel, the Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology, and the National Scout Organisation of Thailand; as well as 3 public organisations, namely the International Institute for Trade and Development, Mahidol Witthayanuson School, and the National Institute of Educational Testing Service. These agencies were established to supervise specific tasks mandated by the Ministry.

The educational administration and management system in regions, provinces, and educational service areas consists of 18 Regional Education Offices, 77 Provincial Education Offices, 183 Primary Educational Service Areas Offices and 42 Secondary Educational Service Areas Offices nationwide.


The MOE organisational chart is shown below

The Minister of Education is a political official appointed by the Prime Minister to oversee the entire organisation.  The Permanent Secretary is a non-political official working within the government entity as a civil servant. In the MOE, the Permanent Secretary oversees and monitors the operations of each office within the ministry to ensure that their operations and activities align with the broader framework of the MOE and the government, in this case the National Strategy and relevant plans. As indicated in the figure above, the Office of Permanent Secretary of the MOE is at the same level as other offices within the MOE, rather than in a higher position. Other offices within the MOE include the Office of the Education Council, the Office of Basic Education Commission, and the Office of the Vocational Education Commission. All have the authority to operate autonomously and function as the primary actor in the field they govern. The Office of Permanent Secretary does not have an overarching mandate to tell these offices how to implement and operate their annual activities. The Office of Permanent Secretary is authorised to monitor and ensure that the MOE operational strategy and other related governmental strategies’ objectives are achieved.  It can thus be seen that the structure of the MOE enables responsible offices to implement the frameworks set by the MOE and the government as they see appropriate. The responsibility for TVET is allocated to the Office of the Vocational Education Commission (OVEC).

The Office of the Vocational Education Commission (OVEC) was established by the Ministries Act on August 19, 1941 and was known as the Department of Vocational Education. Between 1990-1996, the number of colleges increased to 93, made up of 60 colleges at the district level, 25 Polytechnics and 8 other colleges. All were tasked with enhancing professional education opportunities for local populations, as well as providing skilled workers and technicians to respond to the needs of the labour market and in line with economic and social development. When vocational education became a prominent programme, 20 vocational colleges were established, and the Department of Vocational Education was divided into 11 divisions. On July 7, 2003 the Department of Vocational Education was renamed the Office of the Vocational Education Commission (OVEC)[30].

This newly established office came under the MOE, with specific authority given by the Ministry of Education Separation Act, the National Education Act and the Vocational Education Act. All three Acts assign OVEC as the primary authority overseeing matters related to vocational education in Thailand. Furthermore, OVEC’s action plan and strategy is required to align with the MOE’s broader strategy and the National Strategy, along with other relevant plans. At the top of OVEC hierarchical order is a Secretary General, who is a civil servant appointee. 


The OVEC organisational Chart

Source: Office of the Vocational Education Commission (2017). Organization Chart. Retrieved November 9, 2017 from http://www.vec.go.th/en-us/aboutvec/organizationchart.aspx

The OVEC’s authority is defined in multiple laws and regulations, including the Ministry of Education Separation Act, which outlines the authority and mandates of the OVEC in overseeing TVET in Thailand. These mandates include the following.

Authority of the OVEC [31]

  1. To prepare proposals, policy development and standard of vocational courses at all levels;
  2. To perform and to coordinate with vocational and professional standards;
  3. To set rules and procedures for budgeting and resource support;
  4. To support the development of vocational teachers and staff;
  5. To further promote coordinated management at the public and private levels as well as set the rules for each form of joint venture in collaboration with other government agencies and enterprises;
  6. To monitor and to manage reporting on vocational education at both public and private levels;
  7. To organise, promote and coordinate information networks and communication technology used in vocational education and TVET training;
  8. To act as the secretary of the Vocational Education Commission;

To perform other tasks as required by law according to the powers, duties and responsibilities of the Office of Vocational Education Commission or as assigned by the Minister or the cabinet.

 

Financing

Multiple sources of funding contribute to the TVET system in Thailand, with the primary source being the annual government budget. The government budget is distributed to the different ministries according to their estimated budget. For TVET, the budget comes under the annual budget of the MOE and is allocated to the Office of the Vocational Education Commission (OVEC)[32].

For 2021 fiscal year, the overall budget allocated to the MOE was approximately 129 billion Thai Baht (THB), of which 15 billion THB was allocated to the OVEC for the advancement of TVET according to government plans and objectives [33].

Apart from the financial support from the government, the TVET system also receives technical support from bilateral and international collaboration such as assistance from Germany, Japan, Denmark, UNICEF and UNESCO

System

The separation of responsibility between government entities in education stated in the previous chapter will be displayed in this chapter to provide a complete image of Thailand’s national education system.  

Basic education in Thailand refers to six years of primary education (G1-G6), three years of lower secondary (G7-G9) and three years of upper secondary education (G10-G12). The 1999 National Education Act provides for compulsory education to be extended from six to nine years, covering six years of primary education and three years of lower secondary education (G1-G9). Those having completed the compulsory education are eligible to choose between two parallel tracks: general or academic track, and TVET track, as follows:       

  • An upper secondary education (in general track) lasting for three years, in three main majors: Science, Maths and Language.
  • An upper secondary education (in TVET track) lasting for three years, covering multiple subjects, for example, mechanics, commerce and accountancy, electronics, etc.

The Act also specifies that not less than 12 years of education shall be provided free of charge. In addition, an initiative to provide three years pre-primary up to the completion of upper secondary education free of charge was implemented in 2009. The Thai education system has provided 15-year free basic education ever since. This helps provide the tuition fees, uniforms, textbooks, learning materials, and extra-curricular activities free of charge, for pre-primary, primary and secondary students in public schools.


TVET is provided in three tiers: upper secondary level, leading to a certificate in vocational education; post-secondary level, leading to a diploma in vocational education; and tertiary vocational education, leading to a bachelor’s degree in TVET. These are detailed in the diagram below.

Thailand Education System

 

Source: World TVET Database Thailand Scheme complied by UNESCO-UNEVOC and extracted from Choomnoon, Siripan (2011). Thailand. In Emerging Challenges and Trends in TVET in the Asia-Pacific Region, S. Majumdar (Ed.). 219-235. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

In addition, students with the upper secondary education (in general track) will enrol for a four to six-year bachelor’s degree programme at a university or higher education institution (HEI). Students with the upper secondary education (in TVET track) are able to select one of the following paths (see diagram above):

  • Either continue with a two-year course to acquire the (diploma in vocational education) and then pursue a two-year bachelor’s degree programme to acquire a bachelor’s degree (Vocational Tertiary);
  • Or apply and enrol for a bachelor’s degree programme (Academic Tertiary Undergraduate).

TVET System

Students seeking to continue their education in a vocational education programme must hold a lower secondary certificate to be eligible to apply for a technical and vocational programme. The TVET system in Thailand is conducted through Formal TVET programmes, which offer students theoretical and practical knowledge in the field they pursue. The programmes are offered at the upper secondary level in vocational colleges and institutes, with a duration of three years, with potential internships before graduating. The types of colleges providing formal TVET in Thailand are classified as follows:

  • Technical colleges;
  • Vocational colleges;
  • Agricultural and technology colleges;
  • Commercial colleges;
  • Industrial and ship-building technology colleges;
  • Fishery colleges;
  • Administration and tourism colleges;
  • Polytechnic colleges;
  • Automotive industry colleges;
  • Golden Jubilee Royal goldsmith colleges;
  • Arts and crafts colleges.

In addition to Formal TVET programmes, there is a popular alternative, which was influenced by the successful German Dual Education systems and apprenticeships programmes. The Dual educational programmes in Thailand are organised by vocational institutions, under the OVEC in collaboration with companies, state enterprises or government agencies. The programme duration is three years with practical training at companies for students comprising more than half of the programme. This cooperation among different stakeholders requires an integrated curriculum with the private sector, not just for dual vocational education programmes, but also for formal TVET programmes. The TVET curricula requirements are set by OVEC while also integrating and linking with the needs of the industry

A non-formal and informal TVET system exists in the form of traditional non-formal and informal education. This integrates subjects related to capacity building, life skills, career development, basic education and occupational skills with a non-formal and informal curriculum rather than a TVET curriculum tailored for non-formal and informal education. It is worth bearing in mind that the foundation of non-formal and informal education in Thailand is heavily influenced by adult education. The Office of Non-Formal and Informal Education (ONFE) is the primary authority overseeing this type of education in Thailand. According to the Ministry of Education Separation Act, the ONFE comes under the Permanent Secretary’s Office of the MOE. Hence, the integration of skills development, capacity building and occupational skills into the non-formal and informal education in Thailand is the closest we get to a non-formal and informal TVET system.

National Qualifications Framework

The Thai National Qualification Framework (NQF) is driven by the NQF Committee, with the Office of the Education Council (OEC) acting as the secretariat of the NQF Committee. The OEC serves as the central authority in coordinating with all relevant agencies involved in the referencing process between the Thai NQF and the AQRF.  Furthermore, the AQRF referencing process also involves the following agencies responsible for sub-sector qualifications:

  • Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC)
  • Office of the Vocational Education Commission (OVEC)
  • Office of the Permanent Secretary (OPS), Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (MHESI)
  • Department of Skill Development (DSD), Ministry of Labour
  • Thailand Professional Qualification Institute (Public Organization) (TPQI)

The diagram below shows the linkages between the different levels of the AQRF and the NQF. In order to differentiate each level, they are described as “learning outcomes consisting of knowledge, skills, and application and responsibility”.

Different levels of AQRF and NQF


The table below describes the linkages between the NQF with the Thai Professional Qualification and Thai National Skills Standards, while also identifying which level of the NQF would be equivalent to the different educational qualification in Thailand.

Linkages between the NQF with the Thai Professional Qualification and Thai National Skills Standards

Source: ASEAN (2019 – 2020) “AQRF Referencing Report of Thailand” page 33 and 50

The following tables provide information on vocational education programmes with the vocational education qualification.

Secondary vocational education programme

Programme

Duration

Qualification

Upper secondary vocational programme

3 years

Certificate in Vocational Education

Dual system and apprenticeship

3 years

Certificate in Vocational Education

Short courses accumulation

3-5 years

Certificate in Vocational Education: Credit Accumulation System

Post-secondary vocational education programme

Programme

Duration

Qualification

TVET Colleges

2 years

Diploma in Vocational Education

Undergraduate

2 years (after Diploma in Vocational Education)

Bachelor’s Degree

Source: World Bank (2015). Thailand - National Qualifications Framework summary. Washington, D.C.: World Bank Group. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/553231508753630151/Thailand-National-Qualifications-Framework-summary

The Thai NQF was designed to line up with the AQRF, though with some adjustments to align with the demands required by the Thai domestic system have been made.

A comparison between the AQRF and the Thai NQF is given below [34]

Learning Outcomes

AQRF

Thailand NQF

Level 1

Knowledge

  • Basic and general

  • Involve simple, straightforward and routine

 

 

  • Basic occupation skills

  • Skills in communication, life skills, and skills in routine operation without complexity

Application and responsibility

  • Involve structured routine processes

  • Involve close levels of support and supervision

  • Ability in routine operation according to the required steps

  • Ability to operate under close supervision

Level 2

Knowledge

  • General and factual

  • Involves use of standard actions

  • ICT communication, general and factual knowledge of the field

Skills

  • Skills in operation according to the required steps and standards

  • Thinking skills, life skills and communication skills with initiative

Application and responsibility

  • Involves structured processes

  • Involves supervision and some discretion in judgement for resolving familiar issues

  • Ability in operation according to principles and standards

  • Ability in operation, looking after and making basic decisions and problem solving

Level 3

Knowledge

  • Includes general principles and some conceptual aspects

  • Involves selecting and applying basic methods, tools, materials and information

  • Principles of specialised fields and basic analysis

Skills

  • Skills in selection and application of basic tools and materials

  • Communicative ICT and skills related to safety issues

Application and responsibility

  • Stable in some respects, but subject to change

  • Involves general guidance and requires judgment and planning to independently resolve some issues

  • Ability to operate as planned and adjust oneself without complex changes

  • Ability to independently provide the basic advice needed for decision making and planning for problem solving in some issues

  • Application of knowledge skills in the field, ICT, communication in problem-solving, and working in a new context including responsibility for oneself and others

Level 4

Knowledge

  • Technical and theoretical with general coverage of an occupation field

  • Involves adaption processes

  • Theoretical and technical, covering an occupation field. English and ICT related to work

Skills

  • Skills in adapting a suitable operation process and related to safety issues

Application and Responsibility

  • Generally predictable, but subject to change

  • Involves broad guidance requiring some self-direction and coordination to resolve unfamiliar issues

  • Ability to operate as planned and adjust to changes

  • Ability in problem solving by oneself and coordinate for problem solving on unfamiliar issues

Level 5

Knowledge

  • Detailed technical and theoretical knowledge of a general field

  • Involves analytical thinking

  • Theoretical and in-depth technical ability in an occupation field

Skills

  • Skills in thinking, analysing and problem solving

  • Skills in planning, managing and evaluating operations

Application and responsibility

  • Often subject to change

  • Involves independent evaluation of activities to resolve complex and sometimes abstract issues

  • Ability in operation under changing situations at all times

  • Ability to evaluate operation by oneself for complex problem solving and abstract issues

Level 6

Knowledge

  • Specialised technical and theoretical skills in a specific field

  • Involves critical and analytical thinking

  • Theory and detailed specific occupation field

Skills

  • Skills in thinking, analysing, reviewing and comparing problems

Application and responsibility

  • Complex and changing

  • Requires initiative and adaptability, as well as strategies to improve activities and to solve complex and abstract issues

  • Complex problem solving and changing

  • Initiate and improve, strategic complex planning, abstract problem solving and management in the filed

Level 7

Knowledge

  • At the forefront of a field and showing mastery of a body of knowledge

  • Involves critical and independent thinking as the basis for research to extend or redefine knowledge or practice

  • In-depth, at the forefront of the field

Skills

  • Skills in thinking, analysing, initiating research, expanding knowledge, practice and academic English usage

Application and responsibility

  • Complex, unpredictable, involves the development and testing of innovative solutions to resolve issues

  • Requires expert judgement and significant responsibility for professional knowledge, practice and management

  • Solve complex and unpredictable problems, develop and try out new methods, search for innovative solutions

  • Provide judgement and be responsible as an expert with knowledge of operations and management

  • Expert with theoretical and practical knowledge and management

Level 8

Knowledge

  • At the most advanced and specialised level, at the front of a field

  • Involves independent and original thinking and research, resulting in the creation of new knowledge or practice

  • The most advanced and highest specialised level

Skills

  • Initiate research, creating knowledge or practice

  • Use English in an academic presentation

  • Conduct research, published and accepted internationally

Application and responsibility

  • Highly specialised and complex, involving the development and testing of new theories and solutions to resolve complex and abstract issues

  • Requires authoritative and expert judgement in the management of research in organisation and significant responsibility in extending professional knowledge and the practice and creation of new ideas and processes

  • Have expertise in complex problem solving, develop and test new theories or search for new solutions to complex and abstract issues

  • Authorised to provide knowledge in the field for management research and responsible for enhancing knowledge and practices, creating new ideas and processes in the field

 

Quality Assurance & Standards

In Thailand the Quality Assurance (QA) system for education and training falls under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education (MOE).  The National Education Act 1999 states that QA is a necessity in ensuring the quality and standards of education at all levels. The Act defines the QA system as being made up of two types in Thailand: The External Quality Assurance System, which is carried out by the Office of National Education Standards and Quality Assessment (ONESQA), and the Internal Quality Assurance, which is undertaken by each educational institution and its supervisory office (as for TVET is OVEC).

A 2018 Ministerial regulation announced that “Education Quality Assurance means to evaluate and monitor the quality according to educational standards of each level and type of institution with a controlling mechanism established by institutions.” An effective QA secures the confidence of all relevant stakeholders on the quality of education provided, which aligns with education standards and satisfies the objectives of qualification for each sub-sector.

The QA system in Thailand involves three types of actors. The regulators and supporters are qualification bodies for specific sub-sectors, such as OVEC for vocational education. The third is the operators, namely the schools/TVET institutions and universities (see table below).

QA system in Thailand and actors [34]

Regulator

Supporter

Operator

ONESQA

Qualification sub-sectors (OBEC, OVEC and MHESI)

Schools/TVETs/Institutes/
Universities

Set EQA Standards

Set IQA Standards (guidelines, quality code and criteria)

Implement QA standards through development plan

Organise EQA

Preparation and support institutions readiness for SAR and Mock assessment

Involve social partner in IQA and SAR

Analysis of SAR

 

Develop IQA of institutions

Deliver assessment report for quality improvement (Suggestions and guidelines)

 

Organise annual SAR

 

 

Submit SAR to concerned agencies


Thailand has two types of QA systems, an External Quality Assurance System and an Internal Quality Assurance System. The following section explores these two systems in more detail.

External Quality Assurance System

As stated above, the ONESQA is the agency responsible for assessing and monitoring the quality of educational institutions in Thailand. Once the ONESQA has received the self-assessment report (SAR) from educational institutions, it will provide educational institutions with reports and recommendations for further improvements.

According to the Royal Decree on the Establishment of the ONESQA 2000, the ONESQA was created to oversee matters related to quality assurance regarding education in Thailand and is managed by an ONESQA committee made up of professionals with extensive experience and from diverse fields to ensure inclusiveness. The committee has the following duties:

  • To develop an external assessment system and set the framework, directions and methods for efficient external quality assessment in line with the quality assurance system of educational institutions and their parent organisations.
  • To develop the standards and criteria of the EQA.
  • To certify external assessors.
  • To supervise and set standards for EQA conducted by external assessors as well as issuing certification of standards. In the case of necessity or for the benefit of study and research for development of the external assessment system, the Office may carry out an EQA itself.
  • To develop and train external assessors, and prepare training course curricula and encourage private, professional or academic bodies to participate in the training of external assessors for greater efficiency.
  • To submit annual reports on the assessment of educational quality and standards to the Council of Ministers, the Minister of Education and the Budget Bureau for consideration in formulating educational policy and allocating the budget for education, as well as to disseminate reports to the concerned agencies and the public.

The committee comprises four different sub-committees, namely:

  1. The Executive Committee for the Office for National Education Standards and Quality Assessment
  2. The Committee for Development and Assessment System of Basic Education
  3. The Committee for Development and Assessment System of Vocational Education
  4. The Committee for Development and Assessment System of Higher Education

The External Quality Assurance System in Thailand complies with the principles of the ASEAN Quality Assurance Framework (AQAF). Evidence of ONESQA’s alignment with the AQAF is given below [35].

 ONESQA’s alignment with the AQAF

AQAF Principles

AQAF Guidance

The External Quality Assurance Agencies

External Quality Assurance Standards and Processes

Internal Quality Assurance (Institutions)

National Qualifications Framework

Appropriate and legally established by an external body mandated and dedicated to conduct quality assurance. The mission and goals are clearly indicated.

The core function and activity are to conduct quality assurance processes and the establishment of policies, standards, procedures and outcomes. These standards are developed with stakeholders and reflect national needs and aspirations.

 

This reflects the close linkage between external quality assurance and the internal quality assurance of institutions.

 

This provides a national classification, and standards for qualifications in educational sector. It reflects the progressive

complexity of learning, outcomes, credits, and establishes a learner-centred approach in teaching and learning and beyond that supports lifelong learning.

ONESQA alignment

  • National Education Act of 1999
  • Royal Decree on the Establishment of ONESQA
  • Ministerial regulation of QA
  • Boards of committees cover all levels of education
  • Manual for operations
  • Standard operating procedures
  • Strategic plans
  • Publications
  • Research output
  • Seminars/ conferences
  • IQA review system
  • Monitoring systems and reviews
  • Procedures for developing standards
  • Guidelines for institutional assessment
  • Involvement of stakeholders
  • Set of quality assurance framework, evaluation instrument, assessors training and monitoring
  • Manual guidance for institution
  • Selection criteria and practice
  • Workshops
  • Appeals system and procedures

 

  • Dialogue and input from various parties
  • A structure within the IQA organisation to ensure the implementation and monitoring of improvements such as a committee and a working group
  • Documented policies (Ministerial regulations of QA) and responsibilities of all parties which have been disseminated to institutions
  • Linkage between the IQA & EQA indicators

 

  • National policies and strategies
  • Mechanism of authorised body responsible for NQF
  • Evidence of implementation policies and mechanisms
  • EQA Indicators related to learning outcomes

Internal Quality Assurance System

According to the MOE regulation, all educational institutions are required to have an administrative body that oversees quality, audit, follow-up and performance assessment. Education institutions are allowed to establish their standards, but these must align with the standards set by the MOE for each type and level of education. The educational institutions are required to submit an annual self-assessment report (SAR) to the qualification bodies responsible for the sub-sector the education institution is in.

Furthermore, once the SAR is submitted to the qualification body, such as the ONESQA and its committees, the qualification body will conduct the assessment, audit and monitoring of the report sent by educational institutions and send its report along with recommendations back to educational institutions for further improvements (See diagram below).

Quality Assurance of TVET

Any discussion of QA for TVET overlaps with the QA for occupation standards and skills development, as all three pillars are heavily focused on practical knowledge and skills. As stated in the previous chapter on the National Qualification Framework (NQF), Thailand’s educational qualifications and all the multiple frameworks are linked to the AQRF and divided into different levels from level 1 to level 8.


Three authorised agencies are responsible for TVET quality assurance: the Office of the Vocational Education (OVEC) under the Ministry of Education, which oversees matters related to Vocational Education and the Dual-Vocation Education Training; The Department of Skills Development (DSD) under the Ministry of Labour, which oversees matters related to skills development and training, including skills standards; and The Thailand Professional Qualification Institute (TPQI), which is responsible for creating occupational standards. The OVEC would come under the QA System for vocational Education Standards, while the DSD and the TPQI would be under the QA System for Occupational Standards, as shown in the diagram below.

QA system for educational standards and responsible actors

In terms of Quality Assurance in Vocational Education, the OVEC establishes certain requirements that graduates must meet before being granted Vocational Education certificates. These qualification and requirements are stated in the National Vocational Education Framework and the Vocational Education Standard. According to the National Vocational Education Framework, there are four identified components for quality assurance.

  1. Occupational Standards for Qualification Development;
  2. Qualified Teachers and Resources;
  3. Appropriate Learning Methods and Assessment;
  4. Quality Graduates.

Quality Assurance of Occupational Standards is divided into two components, the first of which, the Professional Qualification, falls under the Thailand Professional Qualification Institute (TPQI). For Quality Assurance of Occupational Standards, Professional Qualification, the TPQI applies the ISO/IEC 17024: 2012 as the primary guidance in accrediting and monitoring the assessment centres certified by TPQI. The standards for each occupation are created through coordination with industrial groups or associations in that particular occupation and align with the levels and descriptions stated in the Professional Qualification Framework.

The second component of the Quality Assurance of Occupational Standard is the National Skills Standard, for which the responsible agency is the Department of Skill Development (DSD). The DSD carries out QA for the National Skills Standard through two aspects and through 77 skill development institutes and centres. The first is that all DSD training courses are aligned with ISO/IEC 17024. The second is the Skills Standard Testing, which is in accordance with the Skills Development Promotion Act B.E. 2545 (2002). The DSD is the primary authority in developing the National Skills Standards (NSS) for different occupations and the stated skills standard is used as a benchmark to measure the worker’s skills, knowledge and attitude in the particular skills section. 

Graduates

In this chapter, the paper sets out the number of students and graduates in the Thai TVET system, while also providing a glimpse into the prospects for TVET graduates in terms of employment upon graduation.  

Enrolment of TVET students in 2020 [36]

Vocational Education Level

2020 (As of July 2020)

Public TVET institutions

Private TVET institutions

Total

Certificate in Vocational Education

Upper Secondary

Year 1

166,557

79,948

246,505

Upper Secondary

Year 2

128,016

66,410

194,426

Upper Secondary

Year 3

147,675

68,375

216,050

Total students enrolled in Upper secondary Technical and Vocational

442,248

214,733

656,981

Diploma in Vocational Education

Vocational Tertiary

Year 1

116,126

57,080

173,206

Vocational Tertiary Year 2

127,689

61,266

188,955

Total students enrolled in Vocational tertiary

243,815

118,346

362,161

Bachelor’s Degree

Vocational Tertiary Year 3

5,116

N/A

5,116

Vocational Tertiary Year 4

4,703

N/A

4,703

Total students enrolled in Undergraduate

9,819

N/A

9,819

Total

695,882

333,079

1,028,961

The 1st Semester in the vocational education system in Thailand begins around May and the data were collected and finalised in July 2020, so it is fair to assume that the following data 

summary is accurate and adequate in depicting the interest of TVET students, categorised by subject. The conclusion that can be drawn from this information is that industry-related subjects are highly popular among students from both public and private TVET institutions. Public TVET institutions tend to be popular for subjects related to the industrial sector, whereas private TVET institutions tend to be more sought after for courses on commerce.


Number of TVET students enrolled categorised by subjects, as of July 2020 [37]

Subjects

Public TVET institutions

Private TVET institutions

Total

Upper secondary Technical and Vocational and Vocational tertiary

Industrial related subjects

133,966

34,387

168,353

Commerce

75,889

79,596

155,485

Tourism

8,526

4,205

12,731

Agriculture

8,766

12

8,778

Home Economics

7,794

281

8,075


TVET graduates in 2019 [38]

Vocational Education Level

Public TVET institution

Private TVET institution

2017

Upper secondary Technical and Vocational

80,875

77,836

Vocational tertiary

87,481

33,037

Total

168,356

110,873

2018

Upper secondary Technical and Vocational

149,998

38,709

Vocational tertiary

105,509

36,752

Total

255,507

75,461

2019

Upper secondary Technical and Vocational

93,771

46,984

Vocational tertiary

95,549

27,036

Total

189,320

74,020

Total 2017-2019

613,183

260,354


At the time of collecting the data for this report, the 2020 data for employment and unemployment were not yet sufficient to offer a complete picture. The table below constructed with data from the National Statistic Office and the Ministry of Labour reflects the closest image of TVET graduates’ employment rate after graduation.

Employment and Unemployment of TVET Graduates [39]

Year

Total Employment

Employment
(With Upper secondary Technical and Vocational Certificate)

Unemployment (With Upper secondary Technical and Vocational Certificate)

2018

37,340,000

2,056,000

349,000

2019

37,770,000

2,146,000

206,000

2020

37,630,000

3,403,000

441,000

According to the table above, the data on employment/unemployment for those holding a TVET certificate is not necessarily reflective of the number of TVET graduates. The data from the Ministry of Labour does not differentiate whether those employed/unemployed are recent TVET graduates or not.  Rather, the data is only concerned with illustrating the employment/unemployment numbers and the educational qualification these workers hold.

It is important to recognise the misalignment between the number of TVET graduates and the employment/unemployment numbers of those with TVET certificates. Conversely, upon thorough analysis, it is possible to rationalise that despite the misalignment between the data, the increase in employment for those with TVET certificates would also include recent TVET graduates in the statistical record. The employment data for 2018 are fixed variables and provides a starting point. The increase in employment for 2019 along with the increase in TVET graduates (Above table) in the same year would suggest that the increase in employment numbers for TVET graduates in 2018 and 2019 would also encompass TVET graduates in 2018 and 2019. However, while this is a speculation, it appears that the employment rate for individuals with TVET Certificates is set to continue its exponential increase which, from a probability standpoint, would suggest that TVET graduates will continue to be employed upon graduation.

 

Personnel (Teachers & Trainers)

TVET Personnel

Specific basic qualifications are used in determining the suitability of those who seek to become teachers in the TVET system in Thailand as in many ASEAN member states. In Thailand there are 3 types of TVET teachers:  teachers as a civil servant, teachers with a permanent government contract and teachers with a non-government permanent or temporary contract. The basic qualifications for TVET teachers in Thailand include the following:

  • Must hold Thai nationality;
  • Must be over the age of 18;
  • Must hold a bachelor’s degree;
  • Must hold a professional General Teacher License certified by the Thai Teacher Council.

The professional General Teacher License certified by the Thai Teacher Council is in accordance with the Teachers and Educational Personnel Council Act of 2003, which establishes the licensing system for qualified TVET teachers and educational personnel. The Act requires all educational personnel to renew their teaching license every 5 years.

In an interview given by the then Director of the Bureau of Vocational Education Standards and Qualification Dr. Atthipatai Potang (Retired), he stated that “out of all the TVET staff in Thailand, 5% work for the administration as civil servants while 95% are employed as TVET teachers. From these teachers, 15,171 work in public schools and 18,257 in private schools (Potang, 2019)[40]."

This statement resonates with the data collected from the Information Technology and Vocational Manpower Centre under the Office of Vocational Education Commission. The number of TVET personnel in Thailand is given below.

TVET personnel in Thailand 2017 - 2019

Civil Servant

Permanent Government contract

Temporary Teacher Contract

Temporary General Administrator

Total

Management Level

TVET Teachers

Operational

 Teaching 

 Operational 

2017

1,614

14,591

359

4,162

2,236

7,938

11,483

 42,383

2018

1,596

14,765

350

4,159

2,072

8,167

11,586

 42,695

2019

1,638

13,775

324

4,198

1,897

8,925

11,529

 42,286

As can be seen from the table, the number of TVET personnel has remained largely unchanged over the three years and the proportion of TVET teachers working in the civil service is estimated to be 34% of the total TVET personnel. In addition, there are multiple paths towards employment in the TVET system as a TVET teacher, as depicted in the following diagram.

The different pathways into employment in TVET

Source: Euler, 2018

The training of teachers makes use of highly elaborate national standards, which provide a core curriculum for pre-service training (Euler, 2018).

The recruitment process begins with the Ministry of Education through the OVEC issuing a centralised recruitment announcement for TVET teachers. Candidates then complete an examination, after which those who pass with high scores will be able to select the TVET college where they want to work. Once the candidates are selected to become TVET teachers, in-service training is conducted for all types of TVET teachers. These are chosen according to their subjects and performance and without restrictions on gender, age or religion.


Trainer (In-Company Trainer)

For Thailand, trainers, also known as in-company trainers, are those in the private sector in a specific industry with the ability to transfer their knowledge to others. In-company trainers in Thailand can be understood as falling into two categories: firstly, in-company trainers who provide pre-employment training, reskilling and skills upgrading for people who are already in the workforce; and secondly, in-company trainers who provide training for apprentices and students during their workplace training phases. This inevitably leads to the allocation of authority to different government departments.

The in-company trainers who focus on training the workforce are regulated by the Department of Skills Development (DSD), Ministry of Labour. In-company trainers who train students, apprentices and interns as part of the vocational system and dual vocational education are regulated and governed under the criteria set by OVEC.

Below is a brief description of the regulations governing the different types of in-company trainers in Thailand. A detailed report has been prepared on the specific implementation of in-company training in Thailand and its benchmarking to the Standard for In-Company Trainers in ASEAN Countries (ASEAN In-CT Standard) and is available at SEA-VET.NET.


The Department of Skills Development and In-company training

The DSD is mandated to promote skills development, establish national skills standards, certify training centres and training and assess workers as regulated by the Skill Development Promotion Act B.E. 2545 (A.D. 2002) and the additional amendment (second edition) B.E. 2557 (A.D. 2014). According to the Act, a training instructor is defined as a person who delivers training instructions to trainees and must have the following pre-employment training qualifications.

  • Hold a national skill standard certificate in the profession in which they are going to instruct or have graduated with a bachelor’s degree or a diploma in a field of the profession;
  • In cases where there is no national skill standard in the profession, a pre-employment instructor must obtain a vocational certificate or graduate from elementary or secondary education with work experience;
  • Attend a training of trainers (TOT) course of at least 30 hours duration or have a minimum of 30 hours of teaching experience.

With respect to the TOT course, candidates can enrol on a TOT course provided by DSD, by a DSD-certified skills training centre or by another training provider as long as the course is approved by DSD. In order to encourage private sector involvement and promote skills development, the Royal Decree Issued Under the Revenue Code Governing Exemption of Taxes and Duties (No. 437) B.E. 2548 (A.D. 2005) was passed. This states that companies complying with the Skill Development Promotion Act are eligible to deduct 200% of expenses incurred for sending their employees to a government-approved training institution or DSD-approved training course for training instructors, from their annual corporate taxes.


The Office of the Vocational Education Commission and In-Company training

Whilst the DSD is responsible for the in-company trainers in the workforce, the OVEC is responsible for in-company trainers in the vocational education and the dual education system. This is because the in-company trainers involved in the vocational education will be responsible for training apprentices and students during their workplace training phases, which fall under the OVEC’s mandate.

The Vocational Education Act B.E. 2551 (A.D. 2008) and the Act on the Ministry of Education B.E. 2546 (A.D. 2001) allocate the authority to the OVEC to develop a separate law overseeing dual vocational education: The Dual Vocational Education Standard Act B.E. 2557 (A.D. 2014). The Act requires companies that wish to train students/apprentices as part of the dual vocational training system to comply with certain criteria, e.g. to have a qualified in-company trainer. The criteria are given below, with the OVEC requiring company employees to fulfil at least one of the following conditions:

  • Pass an in-company trainer assessment;
  • Complete a training course for in-company trainers of at least 30 hours [41]; or
  • Have at least six months of training experience as an in-company trainer.

To encourage in-company trainers in Thailand to train students and apprentices with practical knowledge in the dual vocational education system, companies that comply with the DSD requirement for in-company trainers are eligible to apply for a tax reduction with the Revenue Department. The tax benefits under the Skill Development Promotion Act also extend to companies who comply with the requirement of in-company trainers set by the OVEC.  

The OVEC has therefore designed a training course that is adapted to suit in-company trainers who train students/apprentices in the dual vocational training system and which is also aligned with DSD’s 30-hour training course for training instructors. The course was subsequently approved by DSD as conforming to the qualification requirements in line with the Skills Development Promotion Act. As a practical consequence, companies always send employees with the potential to qualify as in-company trainers to attend a training course.

Hence, there are mechanisms in place to promote in-company training and trainers in Thailand to equip workers and students with the relevant skills required by the labour market. Specifically, for the in-company trainers under the jurisdiction of OVEC, the OVEC has aligned its training course to the Standard for In-Company Trainers in ASEAN Countries (ASEAN In-CT Standard). These points, along with Thailand’s creation of a Professional Qualification Framework for in-company trainers benchmarking the ASEAN In-CT Standard, have been explained thoroughly in another paper, Implementing the ASEAN In-CT Standard at the National Level: Country Case studies: Thailand.

 

Private Sector Cooperation

Dual Vocational Education

Whenever private sector cooperation in vocational education is mentioned, the image that immediately comes to mind is the involvement of the private sector in the dual vocational education system. Thailand embarked on the journey towards a dual vocational education system in 1984 with the primary purpose of not only including private sector involvement in vocational education, but also to foster stronger cooperation between the private sector and TVET institutions.

In the early stages of Thailand’s move towards dual vocational education, the German government provided technical support through the commission of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH, today known as the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. Since 2008, Thailand has successfully executed the organisation of dual vocational education with the close cooperation of the private sector.

The Vocational Education Act B.E. 2551 (A.D. 2008) clearly defines and establishes three types of vocational education management.

  1. Formal vocational education
  2. Informal vocational education
  3. Dual vocational education

The Act also defines dual vocational education as a vocational education system that requires agreement between private sector and TVET institutions. Unanimous agreement between the two actors include the areas of curriculum design, teaching deliveries and assessment and evaluation. The student is also required by the Act to spend learning and training time at a TVET institution to acquire the theoretical knowledge of his/her chosen profession and spend time at a company to acquire practical knowledge. Dual vocational education is aimed at training future workforces with the relevant competences and skills to match labour market demands, the 20-year National Strategy, the NESDP and the National Education Plan.

Clause 52 of the Vocational Education Act states that the criteria and requirements with which TVET institutions and the private sector must comply in order to offer a dual vocational education shall be determined by the Office of the Vocational Education Commission (OVEC). In OVEC’s announcement on 20 August 2020 on the conditions for organising dual vocational education, it was stated that the following conditions from TVET institutions seeking to offer dual vocational education were required.

  • Executives and employees of the TVET institution must continue promoting dual vocational education;
  • TVET institutions must offer subjects for the dual vocational education that are relevant to the private sector;
  • TVET institutions must prepare and sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the private sector;
  • TVET institutions must prepare and sign an employment training contract with the private sector;
  • TVET institutions and private sector must develop lesson plans, occupational training plan and supervision plans;
  • TVET institutions to organise an introduction for students prior to the occupational training;
  • TVET institutions to prepare students with the relevant knowledge before the occupational training begins;
  • TVET institutions to assign teacher supervision to the private sector;
  • TVET institutions to monitor and evaluate the organisation of occupational training with the private sector;
  • TVET institutions to inform the private sector company, students and parents about the organisation of the dual vocational education.

The Act also specifies certain conditions for private sector companies that seek to enter into cooperation with TVET institutions as part of the dual vocational education. The conditions are as follows:

  • Private sector to promote and support the student’s development progress;
  • Private sector to organise occupational training in tandem with the student’s major;
  • Private sector to prepare and sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the TVET institution;
  • Private sector to prepare and sign an employment training contract with the TVET institutions;
  • Private sector and TVET institutions to develop lesson plans, occupational training plan and supervision plans;
  • Private sector and TVET institutions must evaluate the occupational training;
  • Private sector to have a qualified in-company trainer;
  • Private sector to appoint a coordinating officer and training supervision officer to oversee the dual vocational education of the private sector;
  • Private sector to inform the students, parents and community of their involvement in the dual vocational education;
  • Private sector to provide appropriate reimbursement for students.

The following table provides the number of TVET institutions and students in the dual vocational education. It should be noted here that TVET institutions can both offer formal and dual vocational education.

Student enrolment in dual vocational education as of 2020 [42] 


Human Capital Excellence Centre

In 2020, the Ministry of Education released a new strategic policy focus for the entire education system in Thailand, specifically for educational institutions: The Human Capital Excellence Centre (HCEC). The HCEC is aimed at ensuring the quality of human capital produced from the education system through the enhancement of all educational institutions. For TVET, this policy is also promoted through the OVEC, and in 2021 OVEC announced the requirements for moving towards HCEC for all TVET institutions under its jurisdiction. Each TVET institution is encouraged to specialise in a certain topic and field, whilst being allowed to offer other field courses as well. The ideal setting is that each TVET institution should select its specialised topics based on the industry available in the local area. The OVEC has also established guidelines for TVET institutions wanting who want to work through the steps towards becoming an HCEC, a path that also comes with incentives in funding, materials and recognition. The following are the different categorises and steps towards HCEC:

Conditions for each level towards HCEC level [43] 

Standard Level
Expert Level
Excellent Center Level
Human Capital Excellence Center Level

TVET institutions must comply with the OVEC standard of educational management

TVET institutions must organise Dual Vocational Education in close cooperation with the private sector

TVET institutions must organise Dual Vocational Education in close cooperation with the private sector

TVET institution must have close cooperation with the private sector in the country and abroad in organising the Dual Vocational Education

TVET institution must have a qualified TVET teacher

TVET institution must have a qualified TVET teacher with a professional background and practical knowledge in his/her profession

TVET institution must have a qualified TVET teacher with a professional background and practical knowledge in his/her profession

TVET teachers in these TVET institutions must be able to produce digital content and deliver lessons through a digital learning platform

TVET institution must have a qualified TVET teacher with a professional background and practical knowledge in his/her profession

TVET teachers in these TVET institutions must be able to produce digital content and deliver lessons through a digital learning platform

TVET institution must have the basic infrastructure required to deliver quality education

TVET institution must have the basic infrastructure required to deliver quality education

TVET institution must have the basic infrastructure required to deliver quality digital education through a digital learning platform

TVET institution must have the basic infrastructure required to deliver quality digital education through a digital learning platform

TVET institution must offer educational courses relevant to the demands of local businesses

TVET institution must offer educational courses relevant to the demands of local businesses

TVET institution must produce TVET graduates in the areas demanded by the 10 S-Curve industries

TVET institution must produce TVET graduates in the areas demanded by the 10 S-Curve industries

TVET institution must obtain accreditation from OVEC

TVET institution must obtain accreditation from OVEC

TVET institution must obtain accreditation from OVEC

TVET institution must obtain accreditation from OVEC

 

TVET institution must have academic exchanges with another educational institution in the country

TVET institution must have academic exchanges with another educational institution in the country and/or abroad

TVET institution must have academic exchanges with another education institution in the country or abroad, with the aim of Dual Degrees

 

TVET institution must co-develop curriculum for subjects in which the TVET institution is specialised with the local businesses.

TVET institution must co-develop curriculum for subjects in which the TVET institution is specialised with the local businesses.

TVET institutions must develop a curriculum aligned with the occupational standard and establish a Credit Bank system between occupational competencies and educational qualifications

 

TVET institution must contribute to the learning environment of the specialised field selected

TVET institution must contribute to the learning environment of the specialised field selected

TVET institution must contribute to the learning environment of the specialised field selected

 

 

TVET institution must produce TVET graduates that are employable by the private sector

TVET institution must produce TVET graduates that are employable by the private sector

 

 

 

TVET institutions must be able to provide training and develop TVET teachers in the field in which they are specialised

 

 

 

TVET institutions must be able to evaluate personnel competency according to the occupational standard

 

 

 

TVET institution must provide short term skills training programme (Up-Skill and Re-Skill)

 

 

 

TVET institution must arrange their education management as a boarding school system

 

 

 

TVET institution must contribute to the learning environment of the specialised field selected



Current Trends & Practices

In its outlook for Thailand’s TVET system, the government envisions advancing Thailand towards a developed nation with sustainable economic expansion. The enhancement of the TVET system in Thailand is a crucial factor in the government’s vision. The following are the current trends set forth in accordance with the government’s vision for Thailand, for which TVET is a contributing component to the achievements of these trends.


10 S-curve

In 2015, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the Ministry of Industry’s proposal of 10 targeted industries (10 S-Curve) that would be the “New Engine of Growth” for Thailand. The proposal is a policy response to the current economic difficulties Thailand has been facing. Between 2006 and 2015 Thailand’s average GDP annual growth was estimated to be 2% per year, which is more than 100% less than the average GDP annual growth rate Thailand experienced between 2000 and 2006[44].

The 10 S-Curve industries are the Ministry of Industry’s strategic policy that aims to leapfrog Thailand from the current Middle-Income Trap towards a developed nation with a GDP per capita of more than $ 12,746 and annual GDP growth of 6%. The 10 S-Curve industries are designed to exploit the future technologies to increase productivity whilst stimulating Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) [45]. The following are the 10 S-Curve industries promoted by Thailand. The list is divided into two categories, the first five making up the First S-Curve followed by the New S-Curve[46].


10 S-Curve Industries

10 S-Curve Industries

First S-Curve Industries

New S-Curve Industries

Next-Generation Automotive

Robotics

Smart Electronics

Aviation and Logistics

Affluent, Medical and Wellness Tourism

Biofuels and Biochemicals

Agriculture and Biotechnology

Digital

Food for the Future

Medical Hub

The enhancement of infrastructure and transportation are crucial to developing the 10 S-Curve industries in Thailand, but there is also one vital component that cannot be dismissed: the human factor contributing to these 10 S-Curve industries. To increase the full potential of these 10 S-Curve industries, the current and future workforce must have the relevant skills and knowledge required by these advanced industries. As such, the role of TVET in equipping the future workforce with the relevant skills and knowledge has become a necessity for the success of the 10 S-Curve industries in advancing Thailand beyond the current Middle-Income trap it is in.


The following tables give the comparative supply and demand of workers in the 10 S-Curve industries.

Potential TVET graduates in the S-Curve industries [47]

Industries

Upper secondary Technical and Vocational

Vocational tertiary

First S-Curve

233,913

106,695

New S-Curve

13,994

19,563

Total

247,907

126,258


Demand for TVET graduates in the S-Curve industries [48]

S-Curve Industries

Number of jobs demanded (TVET graduates)

Next-Generation Automotive

115,498

Smart Electronics

29,576

Affluent, Medical and Wellness Tourism

125,643

Agriculture and Biotechnology

8,673

Food for the Future

69,736

Robotics

74,025

Aviation and Logistics

117,418

Biofuels and Biochemicals

73,787

Digital

54,342

Medical Hub

66,434

Total

735,132


Eastern Economic Corridor

In 2016, the Cabinet of Ministers endorsed the principles of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project and assigned the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Somkid Jatusripitak to cooperate with the Minister of Transportation and the Royal Thai Navy in formulating a budgetary report concerning the finances of the EEC in 2017-2018 [49]. Subsequently, the Deputy Prime Minister assigned the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board to be the main focal point in collecting and producing the Eastern Economic Corridor Development Plan (2560-2564) (2017-2021). The first five years of the EEC’s operation (2017-2021) are estimated to bring in approximately $ 49.9 billion worth of investments from the public sector, the private sector and investors [50].

The EEC’s main objectives are to develop the competitive ability of Thailand, promote economic expansion and increase the standard of living for Thais. The EEC is primarily focused on developing the areas of Chonburi, Chachoengsao and Rayong, but also includes areas of Laem Chabang, Pattaya and Sattahip.


The Scope of the EEC

Scope of EEC

Infrastructure Development

First
S-Curve Industries

New
S-Curve Industries

Technological Innovations

High-Speed Railway connecting three airports, Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi and U-Tapao Airport

Next-Generation Automotive

 

Robotics

 

Eastern Economic Corridor Innovation (EECi)

Commercialising U-Tapao Airport

Smart Electronics

 

Aviation and Logistics

 

Eastern Economic Corridor Digitalisation (EECd)

Railway system connecting shipping ports, for instance, the Laem Chabang Shipping Port and Map Ta Phut Shipping Port

Affluent, Medical and Wellness Tourism

 

Biofuels and Biochemicals

 

Human Development and Educational Development

Development of Map Ta Phut Shipping Port

Agriculture and Biotechnology

Digital

 

 

Development of Laem Chabang Shipping Port

Food for the Future

Medical Hub

 

 

Aircraft Maintenance Centre

 

 

 


Digital Transformation

With recent technological advancements and the projected trend towards digitalisation and the digital era, it is predicted that all walks of life will be impacted and altered by the disruption caused by this new phenomenon. Thailand is no exception and with this at the top of the minds of policy makers in the country, Thailand passed the Blueprint on digitalisation development for economy and society called “Digital Thailand”. As stated in earlier chapters, the 20-year National Strategy 20 and the NESD Blueprint form the main national framework that governs government ministries and agencies on their planning. The Blueprint on digitalisation development for economy and society aspires to contribute and facilitate the realisation of the objectives within the National Strategy and the 11th National Economic and Social Development (NESD) Blueprint.

At this point, the pace of technological advancement exceeds that of policymakers’ ability to respond to the newly developed technologies. For this reason, the Blueprint on digitalisation development for economy and society established the following vision to prepare Thailand for the digital era. The Blueprint follows four dimensions of development (Economic, Societal, Human Capital and Public dimension).

The four phases of digital transformation in Thailand

Phase

Description

First Phase:  Digital Foundation

To invest and develop basic digital infrastructure in Thailand

Second Phase: Digital Thailand Inclusion

To involve relevant stakeholders in the digitalisation development

Third Phase: Full Transformation

To be able to exploit the full potentials of digitalisation

Fourth Phase: Global Digital Leadership

To be able to use digital technology to create more value added to Thailand’s economy and society


The Blueprint details the following strategy to achieve the above vision and to help facilitate the realisation of the 20-year National Strategy and the NESD Plan.

Blueprint on digitalisation development for economy and society

Strategy

Description

Strategy 1: Strategy on the Basic digital infrastructure development across Thailand

To enhance equal access to basic digital technology, especially the internet.

Strategy 2: Promote economic expansion through digital technology

To promote the application of digital technology in the private sector, as well as the creation of a friendly digital business environment and ecosystem.

Strategy 3: Quality standard of living through digital technology

To increase basic digital literacy of the public across all age differences to increase equal accessibility to digital technology.

Strategy 4: Digital government

To improve government services, reduce government corruption and achieve effective regulation and legislation through digital technology.

Strategy 5: Human Capital development towards a digital economy and society

To develop a digital workforce with the relevant skills demanded by the private sector and digital economy with the aim of increasing productivity.

Strategy 6: Build trust among the public and businesses through effective and fair regulations, legislation, and standards

To establish regulations, legislation and standards related to digital technology that are globally recognised with the aim of increasing cyber security for the public and businesses.

Reforms/Projects

In the current Constitution of Thailand, it is stated that matters related to national reform must abide by and comply with the requirements stated in the National Reform Plans and Procedures Act. The Act promulgates that any reform blueprint must comply with the 20-year National Strategy and in 2018, the government announced 11 areas of national reform, among them a National Reform in Education. For each of the 11 areas of national reform, a specialised National Reform Committee will be created to oversee and advocate the reforms needed. For education, this falls under the jurisdiction of the National Reform Committee on Education, which is led by the Ministry of Education along with multiple other government ministries who have overlapping interests related to education.

The National Education Reform created by the National Reform Committee on Education aims to reduce educational inequalities, to enhance the quality of education and to increase the competitive advantage of Thailand. It is worth mentioning that each National Reform Committee for the 11 areas is tasked with identifying the five primary challenges it faces in the area, also known as “Big Rocks”. For the education area, the table below shows the main five challenges or five Big Rocks and how they align to the objectives of the National Education Reform.

 

Objectives of the National Education Reform

 

To Reduce Disparity in Education

To Enhance the Quality of Education

To Increase the leverage and competitiveness

Five Big Rocks

 

Creation of Equal Opportunity and Access to Education

Development of Learning Management towards Knowledge Acquisition

Enhancement of Dual Vocational Education Systems and Others

Reform of Pre-Service and In-Service development system for TVET Personnel

Reform of Research and Development and Good Governance of Higher Education Institution

 

 

References
  1. https://www.boi.go.th/index.php?page=demographic
  2. http://hdr.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/THA#
  3. http://hdr.undp.org/sites/all/themes/hdr_theme/country-notes/THA.pdf
  4. Ibid
  5. World Bank GDP Per capita, PPP – Thailand: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.PP.CD?locations=TH
  6. World Bank gini index – Thailand: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SI.POV.GINI?locations=TH
  7. World Bank Data – Thailand: https://data.worldbank.org/country/thailand
  8. World Bank GDP Per Capita – Thailand: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.CD?view=chart&locations=TH
  9. Human Development Report – Thailand: http://hdr.undp.org/sites/all/themes/hdr_theme/country-notes/THA.pdf
  10. Human Development Report – Thailand: http://hdr.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/THA#
  11. Human Development Report – Thailand: http://hdr.undp.org/sites/all/themes/hdr_theme/country-notes/THA.pdf
  12. Ibid
  13. Human Development Report – Thailand: http://hdr.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/THA#
  14. Ibid
  15. Ibid
  16. World Bank Literacy rate – Thailand: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SE.ADT.LITR.ZS?view=chart&locations=TH
  17. Human Development Report – Thailand: http://hdr.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/THA#
  18. Ibid
  19. World Bank Employment to population ratio – Thailand: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.EMP.TOTL.SP.ZS?view=chart&locations=TH
  20. World Bank Unemployment, youth male - Thailand: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.UEM.1524.MA.ZS?view=chart&locations=TH
  21. World Bank Unemployment, youth female - Thailand: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.UEM.1524.FE.ZS?view=chart&locations=TH
  22. World Bank Employment in agriculture – Thailand: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.AGR.EMPL.ZS?locations=TH
  23. World Bank Employment in services – Thailand: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.SRV.EMPL.ZS?locations=TH
  24. World Bank Vulnerable employment – Thailand: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.EMP.VULN.ZS?locations=TH
  25. World Bank Labor force participation rate female – Thailand: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.TLF.CACT.FE.ZS?view=chart&locations=TH
  26. World Bank Labor force participation rate male – Thailand: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.TLF.CACT.MA.ZS?view=chart&locations=TH
  27. National Economic and Social Development Board (2017). The Twelfth National Economic and Social Development Plan. Bangkok: National Economic and Social Development Board
  28. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/15604Thailand_.pdf
  29. https://asean.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Thailand184.pdf page 8
  30. Office of the Vocational Education Commission (2017). Retrieved on November 9, 2017 http://www.vec.go.th/en-us/aboutvec/history.aspx retrieved on 9 November 2017.
  31. Office of the Vocational Education Commission (2017). Vision and Mission. Retrieved on November 9, 2017 http://www.vec.go.th/en-us/aboutvec/visionandmission.aspx
  32. Royal Decree on the Ministry of Education Structuring Act (2003)
  33. Royal Decree on the annual government budget (2020): http://www.ratchakitcha.soc.go.th/DATA/PDF/2563/A/015/T_0001.PDF
  34. ASEAN (2016). ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework. Accessed from http://asean.org/asean-economic-community/sectoral-bodies-under-the-purview-of-aem/services/asean-qualifications-reference-framework/ and ASEAN (2019 – 2020) “AQRF Referencing Report of Thailand”, accessed from https://asean.org/storage/2017/03/TH_final-ref.-report-clean.docx.pdf
  35. https://asean.org/storage/2017/03/TH_final-ref.-report-clean.docx.pdf
  36. Information Technology and Vocational Manpower Centre, 2020 “Statistics of TVET students enrolled for 2020”
  37. Information Technology and Vocational Manpower Centre, 2020 “Statistics of TVET students categorised by subjects for 2020”
  38. Information Technology and Vocational Manpower Centre, 2019 “Statistics of TVET graduates as of 2019”
  39. Ministry of Labour, 2019, “Labour Statistics Yearbook”, National Statistics Office, Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, (February 2019), “Survey Summary on the Employment Status of Thai Citizens” & National Statistics Office, Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, (February 2020), “Survey Summary on the Employment Status of Thai Citizens”
  40. Potang, A (2015). Thailand. TVET Teacher Standard in Thailand. Bureau of Personnel Competency Development, the Office of the Vocational Education Commission (OVEC).
  41. OVEC does not require a formal assessment to complete the course (attendance only), because of negative feedback received from training participants in the past. Instead, it has integrated a micro-teaching session into the training course, which it uses to provide feedback on participants’ competencies as in-company trainers.
  42. Internal MOE and OVEC data centre accessed: http://std2018.vec.go.th
  43. OVEC official announcement (2021) “Guidelines towards organising TVET institutions towards HCEC”
  44. Office of Industrial Economics, Ministry of Industry (2017), “New Engine of Growth”
  45. Ibid
  46. Ibid
  47. Department of Employment, Ministry of Labour (2018) “Future Workforce survey for the 10 S-Curve Industries” p 26
  48. Admission Premium referencing the Office of Industrial Economics, Ministry of Industry, available https://www.admissionpremium.com/engineer/news/5288?fbclid=IwAR119-ObUYoFE29--4NUModD3jRC1iq_QSQmNwM88GR4jNk_IH3WKQyqDxk
  49. The Royal Decree (2018) “The Eastern Economic Corridor””
  50. Polwut Songsakul (2017) “Knowing ‘EEC’ The project with a net worth of 1.5 trillion bath: the continuing series of the Eastern Seaboard from General Prem’s era”, The Standard, 12 September, accessed, https://thestandard.co/from-eec-to-esb/

     

  • Population

    66,567,513 (Thailand BOI, 2019)[1]

    Labour force participation rate (% ages 15 and older) 67.5%[2]

  • HDI

    Female: 0.76 (2018)[3]

    Male: 0.77 (2018)[4]

  • Purchasing Power Parity

    $19,228.295 (2019)[5]

  • Gini Coefficient

    36.4 (2019)[6]

  • GDP (Total)

    $543.65 billion (2019)[7]

  • GDP (Per Capita)

    $7,808.2 (2019)[8]

  • Sex Ratio

    Sex ratio at birth (Male to Female births).1.06 (2019)[10]

    Gender Development Index (GDI). 0.995(2019)[11]

    Gender Inequality Index (GII). 0.377(2018) [12]

  • Poverty Rate

    Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), HDRO specifications

    0.003 (2016)[9]


INDUSTRY

  • Gross enrolment ratio, primary (% of primary school-age population) 100% (2019)[13]

    Gross enrolment ratio, secondary (% of secondary school-age population) 117% (2019)[14]

    Gross enrolment ratio, tertiary (% of tertiary school-age population) 49% (2019)[15]


EDUCATION

  • Adult Literacy Rate (% Ages 15 and Older)

    94 % (2018)[16]

  • Expected Years of Schooling

    14.7 years (2019)[17]

  • Mean Years of Schooling (Adults)

    7.7 years (2019)[18]


Employment

  • Unemployment Rate (Total)

    Employment to population ratio (% ages 15 and older). 66% (2020)[19]

  • Unemployment Rate (Youth -15 -24 Old)

    Youth male unemployment rate (ages 15-24) 3.5 % (2020)[20]

    Youth female unemployment rate (ages 15-24) 5.04 % (2020)[21]

  • Industry/Sector Wise Employment

    Employment in agriculture (% of total employment) 31 % (2020)[22]

    Employment in services (% of total employment) 46 % (2020)[23]

    Vulnerable employment (% of total employment) 48 % (2020)[24]

  • Composition of Workforce

    Labour force participation rate

    Female (% ages 15 and older) 59 % (2020)[25]

    Male (% ages 15 and older) 75 % (2020)[26]

“SEAMEO VOCTECH in collaboration with UNESCO-UNEVOC has used its best endeavours to ensure that material contained in this publication, provided through SEA-VET.NET, is useful, informative and obtained from reliable sources. However, it gives no warranty and accepts no responsibility for the accuracy, reliability, legality or completeness of information and reserves the right to make changes without notice at any time in its absolute discretion.”