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Service industry skills are taught at the Skills Development Centre

Phuket Workers Poorly Prepared for Shock of Jobs Competition

Saturday, August 4, 2012
PHUKET: Many workers on Phuket are not prepared for the Asean Economic Community that will shake their world from 2015, says the Director of the Phuket Skills Development Centre, Innyat Cokchasawat.

''Skills and attitude need upgrading,'' he told Phuketwan this week. ''So does language.

''Phuket people will need to begin thinking globally, not just locally or nationally.''

While there are clearly exceptions, many Thais are rightly perceived as being lazy, lacking the right attitude, not wishing to work hard and not willing to work under pressure, he said.

''Many people will be shocked when 2015 comes and there is serious competition for skilled jobs, especially in tourism on Phuket,'' he said.

''Thai people have to think about this issue now, rather than later.''

There were already 70,000 Burmese workers on Phuket and about 10,000 Phipippinos, he said. With the addition of workers from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, Thais will struggle to win jobs at Phuket's resorts.

''Right now there are 990 hotels with 70,000 rooms and between 4000-5000 skilled jobs going,'' Khun Innyat said.

''Many hotels will have to change thier ideas and keep good staff, not get rid of them in low season. Keeping skills and knowledge will become more essential.''

He said that Phuket had 83 percent of its labor force with no skills compared to just 10 percent in Singapore: ''That is a huge problem.''

The skills centre at Banj Jo provides training in 22 essential careers including landscaping and gardening, flair bartending, motor mechanics, electricians, housemaid essentials, construction and painting over 280-hour courses.

For details, call 076 273470 or e: phuket@dsd.go.th

Comments

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10,000 Phipippinos ?? :o)

Khun Innyat is spot on with this statement:

"Many Thais are rightly perceived as being lazy, lacking the right attitude, not wishing to work hard and not willing to work under pressure"

As of today many employers, foreign and even Thai, prefer to employ mainly Filipinos for the very same reasons.

When AEC comes into force, this becomes as easy as hiring a Thai. With the current mentality a lot of Thais will find themselves outclassed and can't get a job.

Since the prevailing trend is to always blame foreigners for whatever problems Thais face, this will definitely lead to serious social tensions.

Posted by Andrew on August 4, 2012 10:01

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I agree with the Director of the Phuket Skills Development Centre, Innyat Cokchasawat.
Last week, I asked 2 of my staff to register with Phuket polytechnic College to have a governmental training in mechanic with a 75 hours course for 750 Baht only.
Friday 03rd, August 2012, my staff came back very disappointed because the training was canceled for lack of students.
Most non-educated Thais do not care to get training as they care much more about money they will get for the day or the next day.
Most of them are heavy smokers and drink a lot of booze in the evening.
Education starts with good TV programs but instead all movies and soap operas show only bad behaviors such as violence, drinking people, drug and corruption which is not the best way to help grassroots Thai people.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on August 4, 2012 10:31

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Interesting.

Some time back I said the very same thing about Thais not being prepared for AEC and predicted they are in for shock.

I was accused by the Editor for being a scaremonger.

I wonder if the Editor accused Mr Cokchasawat of being a scaremonger too ?

I continue to read and highly value Phuket Wan as the best and only true source for honest and upfront, unbiased reporting and recommend it to everyone I know but it is this personal bias of the Editor that stopped me from commenting here.

I know all about seemingly anonymous abuse one gets online but as an Editor one should rise above it and be a beacon of integrity rather than descend on the same level of petty and sometimes infantile arguing.

Posted by Steve C. on August 4, 2012 10:50

Editor Comment:

A search fails to turn up any comment from you in which I used the word ''scaremonger.'' Your accusation of ''personal bias'' is simply not true.

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He said that Phuket had 83 percent of its labor force with no skills compared to just 10 percent in Singapore: ''That is a huge problem.''

And that's because they favor a standard of education that let's the individual excel instead of just keeping them dumb enough to control.

You're right though... come 2015 when the job markets open up it's going to put an awful lot of Thais out of work.

It's not about being lazy... it's about the poor state of the education system and like anything else in Thailand the real issues are always avoided.

Posted by Graham on August 4, 2012 13:15

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The visa runner business is showing, how many asian workers are already here: Hundreds of them are on the 2 week/2week visaruns to Ranong, every days. Not only the worker industry will suffer. The visa runner business will, too!

Posted by ??? on August 4, 2012 13:43

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While I don't disagree with the statement that many Thais are a bit lazy and lacks a good attitude then I find the same is true for filipinos, the difference being that they are perceived to be better by farangs due to better english skills than their Thai counterparts. Personally I find our staff, which are mainly engineers , technicians and sales/marketing to be dedicated and hardworking people, the necessary english skills lacking for overseas assignments for which we constantly run internal english courses where staff are required to participate, and that works fine for us.

Posted by Bjarne on August 4, 2012 16:12

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Bjarne

Well, english skills is a vital thing to have in an international setting don't you think? So this is for sure very important skill, even a "must have". This is not a "perceived" skill at all, it's a real and serious LACK of skill if you whish to work in an international setting, for you to brush it over as a not serious skill shortage is rather ridiculous. It's a make or break skill in Phuket, nobody who wants a senior position or a well paying job in Phuket in the future can be without it, and rightly so. The only reason a lot of thais has gotten away with it is the labour market rules, but as the article states that's about to be changed in 2015. Even you might prefer a Philippino that is fluent in english on top of having the other skills you require? So you don't have to run your english courses anymore?

Posted by christian on August 4, 2012 18:30

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Christian
We do not produce the goods ourselves, that is outsourced to sub suppliers mainly in Thailand, so Thai is as important for us as english is, so we are quite happy with our setup here. Would like to mention that the farangs working here are also required to learn thai. Other companies may do things differently but this set up works fine for us.

Posted by Bjarne on August 5, 2012 06:01

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Another problem now it's hard to find workers at all or the high turnover of staff, demand was and is still high.

Posted by PhuketGuy on August 5, 2012 12:43

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Bjarne

Ok, so in your particualr case english is not a very important skill, but for the VAST majority of businesses in Phuket english is, and will only be more so in the future, a vital skill. Phuket will be more and more of an international place, and people who don't have english skills will be left behind in the future. To say that people "need to learn thai" is ridiculous, thai is not a world language and for many businesses here in Phuket it's not even needed. May I remind you that INTERNATIONAL tourism is the most important industry here? You seriously think that somebody that gets an assignment to work for say, Hilton as a GM with a 2 or 3 year contract, should be required to learn thai before taking up position?

Posted by christian on August 5, 2012 13:01

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I like this:

"Keeping skills and knowledge will become more essential.''

"Education starts with good TV programs but instead all movies and soap operas show only bad behaviors such as violence, drinking people, drug and corruption which is not the best way to help grassroots Thai people."

Posted by J on August 5, 2012 14:24

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Did heaven fall down on Phuket not already with the 300 Baht rise yet? Or will it be the common market?

And even in the 83% part, people do have skills, though not formalized proven by a test. "Unskilled" worker can do a lot and thanks for the missing education document on the cheap.

Just think for a second about the implication of a Singaporan like workforce on Phuket....

Posted by Lena on August 5, 2012 16:23


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