Plenty of demand for workers, Ovec finds

national October 13, 2015 01:00

By Visarut Sankham
The Nation

DESPITE high demand for workers in the hotel and tourism industry, plus the automotive service and electrical and electronics sectors, there was a distinct lack of manpower, a government meeting was told yesterday.

 The event was organised by the Office of the Vocational Education Commission (Ovec) and joint public-private subcommittees for Vocational Education Human Resource Development in Bangkok. The meeting sought to get updates from the subpanels about manpower demand and supply for Education Minister General Dapong Ratanasuwan. 
The studies were part of an ongoing project to improve vocational education and cater to market needs.
Sukhon Kaewtae, secretary of the hotel and tourism sector subpanel, said there was a huge demand for hotel and tourism workers. He said many students were asked to work even while they were studying. Those working on part-time basis could get around Bt500 a day and during high season most big hotels required at least 25 student employees at each hotel.
The Tourism Council of Thailand’s 2015 report showed there were 108,000 job opportunities in the hotel and tourism industry, but there were only 19,500 vocational students in related fields, he said. 
“I can assure you would get a job right after graduation, because of a great demand in Thai tourism,” Sukhon said.
Sompong Chutong, secretary of the automotive service sector subsubpanel, said his industry was expected to grow 5 per cent per year due to the growth of car service centres.
The subcommittee found there were 19,500 job positions in the industry in 2015, which were further divided into four parts: car repair mechanic, customer service, car maintaining and checking, and salespeople, but there would be only 500 vocational students graduating from these fields in 2016. He said he thought the supply would meet the industry demand within 2016.
Boonlue Tongketkaew, secretary of the electrical and electronic sector subpanel, said there were 18,000 job vacancies in this industry, a number expected to rise further in the next four years. 
While 23,000 vocational students graduated in the field each year, most continued to study to a higher level. So, only 10 per cent actually went into the industry’s workforce.
As the statistics presented were rather unstable, related agencies were instructed to recheck them. 
Dapong said he wanted to get three figures in the next meeting: each vocational school’s capacity, the manpower demand by private sectors, and the current supply.

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