A PUBLIC-PRIVATE steering team has joined with the Austrian Embassy in Bangkok to promote the importance and develop the quality of Thailand’s vocational education to help create a more competitive workforce.
A seminar – the Thai-Austrian Conference on TVET (Technical Vocational Education & Training – investigated a dual education/apprentice system and elevation of higher professional qualification standards to achieve this.
Education Minister General Dapong Ratanasuwan, as head of the working team on a competitive workforce, urged that all sectors collaborate to promote vocational teaching and the development of vocational skills so youths would be equipped and ready to work effectively and with integrity in the future. The development of vocational education quality was the committee’s important mission to produce graduates with skills that met the market’s needs, which would eventually lead to the Kingdom’s economic development, he said.
Dapong noted the importance of cooperation with other countries in vocational education improvement. He said that Austria, which has a long collaboration with Thailand, had been successful in arranging the dual education/apprentice system, allowing young people to learn in both the classroom and in a working environment in which they were also paid. He said 80 per cent of Austrian students chose vocational education. Thailand and its allies hosted this seminar on June 2 to learn from and exchange ideas with them.
At the seminar, 150 attendees heard past experiences and ideas from experts such as Vocational Education Commission chairman Anusorn Saengnimnuan, Office of Vocational Education Commission secretary-general Chaipreuk Sereerak, Federation of Thai Industries vice chairman Thavorn Chalassathien, Austrian Federal Economic Chamber vice president Christoph Matznetter, and Institute for Research on Qualifications and Training of the Austrian Economy director Thomas Mayr.
Ambassador Enno Drofenik said Austria’s developed status came from skilled workers – particularly in engineering and mechanical fields – and the country regarded vocational training as a national agenda. Two aspects that might be interesting for Thailand were the dual education/apprentice system and the Austrian-style advanced vocational college model, which was adopted by Chon Buri’s Sattahip Technical College.
Labour Minister General Sirichai Ditsakul said, “Seen clearly from this seminar is the enthusiasm of both the public and private sectors, which is crucial to the elevation of professional qualification standards in Thailand.