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Skills Development Strategies of Department of Skill Development, Ministry of Labour, Thailand'


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Title: Skills Development Strategies of Department of Skill Development, Ministry of Labour, Thailand'

Skills Development Strategies of Department of
Skill Development,Ministry of Labour, Thailand.
  • Areeya Rojvithee
  • Senior Expert on Skill Development,
  • Ministry of Labour, Thailand,
  • Hong Kong,
  • 15 16 February 2007


  • This paper has been written for the Seminar on
    Skills Development Policies and International
    Co-operation in East and South-East Asia which
    hosted by the Comparative Education Research
    Centre, university of Hong Kong on February
    15-16, 2007, at Hong Kong.
  • This paper is the part of the Skills Development
    Strategies of Agencies in the Region. So, the
    content of this paper started with the policy on
    skill development, education system, role of
    Ministry of Labour, workforce development, skill
    development promotion act A.D.2002, International
    Cooperation and proposing for future cooperation.

Policy on Skill Development
  • The policy on Skill Development can be
    considered from.
  • The policies of the National Economic and
    Social Development Plan.
  • The current government policy.
  • The policy of the Minister of Labour.
  • The Labour Development Plan 2007.

The 10th National Economic and Social Development
Plan A.D 2007 - 2011
The vision of Thailand is to develop the country
to be the green and happiness society through the
Kings Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy. The
content deals with Human Resources Development
are To develop the quality of people and the
Thai society to be the wisdom and learning
society. To develop the potential, competency
and skills of people to cope with the
competitiveness of the country by increasing
knowledge and skills for working such as
analytical skill, innovation, problem solving,
decision-making, team working, ethics and working
discipline for working with the new technology as
well as increasing productivity.
The 10th National Economic and Social Development
Plan A.D 2007 - 2011
Set up the system of learning and training that
can be working with new technology. Networking
from the basic to the professional level, and
link between government, private sector, and the
community for the labour development. Organizing
short courses training, promote inplant training,
workplace learning, and the learning centre. Set
up the system that match the skills or competency
to the wage structure. The skill training should
be extended to the vulnerable people who are
employees or self-employed people.

Policy of the Current Government
Labour is the vital basis for the economic
sector which should be strenghten by the
cooperation of workers, public and private
sectors on skill development and development of
the quality of workforce in all levels to have
high productivity and wage as the level of
national skills standard. Promote the employment,
supplementary occupation, labour protection
labour relations, occupational, safety and
health, the social security and the welfare of
the workers.
Labour Development Plan A.D. 2007
Ministry of Labour (MOL) has vital role on
economic and social development, especially on
increasing the potential and competency of the
total workforce 36.87 million persons to have
good quality of life and stay happily in the
society. The Mission of the Ministry of Labour
are employment promotion, skill development,
protection of the working conditions,
occupational safety and health, promotion of
industrial relations, and promotion of the social
security scheme. The Ministry is extending scope
of protection to the people in the informal
sector and also preparing the measure for the
aging people who are increasing year by
year. For the Security of the Nation Ministry of
Labour has also control the working of migrant
workers both legal and illegal approximately 1
million people.

Labour Development Plan A.D. 2007
MOL also looks after overseas Thai workers who
are working abroad 500,000 people. The content
of skill development appears in the Labour
Development Plan of Ministry of Labour in the
strategy for providing and development of the
Quality of the workforce as following -Making
Manpower Development plan. -Acceleration the
recruitment and development workforce to have
qualification to be relevant to the demand of
establishments. -Acceleration the workforce
development to acquire working competency and
skill as the demand of the labour
market. -Increasing yield or productivity for
the agriculturist.
Labour Development Plan A.D. 2007
-Development the establishments for the quality
of the workforce. -Development the labour market
system. -Management of the migrant workers. The
Government has primary responsibility for
education, pre-employment training and training
the unemployed and people with special
needs. The social partners play a significant
role in further training and particularly
employers in work-place learning and training.
Individuals are expected to make use of
education, training and Lifelong Learning.
Vocational Education and Training (VET) in
Vocational Education and Training in Thailand
is responsible by two main Ministries. Ministry
of Education is responsible for the basic and
higher education as well as the Vocational
Education. Ministry of Labour by the
Department of Skill Development (DSD) is
responsible for the development of workforce in
the labour market since the age of 15 years old
to acquire skills, knowledge to have high
competency for employability.
Education System in Thailand
The Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand
B.E. 2540 (1999) and the National Educational Act
(1999) serves as master legislation on education
of the country, leading to significant education
and learning reform. They provide principle and
challenging guidelines for the provision and
development of Thai education in order to prepare
all Thai people for a learning society in a
knowledge-based economy.
Education System in Thailand
Education will be provided in three types
formal, non-formal, and informal education.
Formal education is divided into 2 levels basic
education and higher education, with 12 years
compulsory education. Ministries, bureaus,
departments, public enterprises, and other public
agencies will authorize to provide specialized
education, based on national education policy and
standards as well as ministerial regulations.
Role of Ministry of Labour, Thailand
Thailand was one of the founded members of the
International Labour Organization (ILO) since
1919, so, the development of the labour affairs
have received the technical support from the ILO
since the beginning. ILO suggested Thai
Government to provide practical training to the
unemployed persons from rural area to acquire
specific skills relevant to the demand of the
labour market since 1967. So, we could solve the
unemployment problem and shortage of skill
workforce in various industries and
establishments in the same time. Since then, the
development of the competency and skills of the
workforce in the labour market is responsible by
DSD, Ministry of Labour.
Workforce Development
The Department of Skill Development offers
various courses of training which focusing on
practical training theory 20 percent, practices
80 percent. The Pre-Employment Training. The
Upgrading Training. The Retraining. (More
detail is in the paper)
Workforce Development

The DSD provides the consulting service to
various organizations concerning the skill
training for special target groups such as youth,
disabled, homeless, drug rehab people, HIV-Aids
suffering including their families and women etc.
Furthermore, the special training courses for
people in some area, principally, in southern
part of Thailand are conducted such as Halal
cuisine cooking.
Workforce Development
DSD is the core organization to issue the
Occupational Skill Standard and the Testing
system. Skill standard setting is the
classification of vocational skills in accordance
with the levels of specified knowledge,
competency and practical proficiency required in
various occupations and trades. Skill standards
are set according to the Skill Development
Promotion Committee appointed by the Ministry of
Labour and consist of 3 levels starting from the
lowest first level, to the highest third level.
Workforce Development
DSD conducts skill standard testing in the
relevant fields as established by the Skill
Development Promotion Committee. The skill
standard testing examines both theoretical and
practical aspects of trade knowledge, and is
divided in basic, intermediate and advanced level
categories. Further more DSD is responsible for
the skill standard testing for workers seeking
overseas jobs. The workers are required to pass
the national skill standard testing or meet with
particular skill standard required by employer.
The implementation of this scheme by both public
and private testing organizations are under
supervision of DSD accord to the Employment and
Labour Protection Act 1994 (2nd Amendment).
Workforce Development
In order to promote the recognition of Skill
Standard, DSD organizes the Skill Competitions.
Skill Competitions is regarded as a means of
improving the potential of vocational training
and enhancing the proficiency of skilled labour.
The skill competition is conducted at regional,
national, ASEAN and Olympic level biennially and
provincial level occasionally. DSD gives
important to the Development of Training
Workforce Development
In order to coordinate with other training
organizations and work in integration approach,
DSD sets up the National Vocational Training
Coordination Committee (NVTCC) to issue the
national policies and guidelines relating to
vocational training and skill development
planning coordination to be implemented by both
public and private sectors. At provincial level,
the NVTCC 'S Provincial Sub-Committee are the
board's network to ensure that skill development
and coordination are efficiently conducted with
the utmost benefit for people in each
province. One of the main activity of DSD is to
encourage the other training agencies in public
and private sectors cooperate more in skill
development through resources sharing, for
instance, sharing of instructors, equipment,
machines, tools and training materials as well as
technological knowledge. Such cooperation can
ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of skill
development implementation.
Workforce Development
As the Government concentrates in unemployment
issue, the Unemployment Insurance Scheme has
launched to secure the employment opportunity for
labour. The DSD is one of the designated
organizations getting involve in mentioned cycle
scheme by providing the appropriate training
courses for unemployed to be employed. DSD also
providing training for the workforce in the hotel
hospitality, services, and soft skills such as
leadership, communication, problem solving,
decision-making, teamwork, etc, for increasing
Workforce Development
In order to promote our workforce to have
potential to run their own business, being
self-employment in the sectors of businesses and
the services, the DSD with the support of the
International Labour Organization (ILO) designed
the training courses called Entrepreneurship
Development to train our people since 1988. And
the curriculum has been modified continuously to
cope with the current situation and the new trend
of the labour market. The contents of the
training courses are consist of management
skills, how to stock raw materials or
spare-parts, marketing, location, business plan,
accounting, E-commerce, and how to access to the
sources of funding for starting their businesses.
Now the government set up the consultant for the
villagers for solving all the obstacles for their
Workforce Development
The DSD providing various training courses in
industrial and services courses as mentioned
above. After the trainees possess any skill and
if they decide to run their own business they can
continue to attend the training course on
Entrepreneurship Development. The curriculums
are co-designed by establishments, professional
association, academic related to the trade of
training by focusing on competency of working.  
Skill development has never been as important as
it is in todays globalizing world, where
technology dictates rapid changes to the way in
which skills are acquired, new skills developed
and existing skills upgraded. Thai government
considers that human resource is the main asset
of Nation and should be continuously developed on
par with the development of socio-economic and
technology to be high quality resource. There is
a need to rethink and broaden the notion of
lifelong education and training. Not only must
it adapt to changes in the nature of work, but it
must also constitute a continuous process of
forming whole human beings their knowledge and
aptitudes, as well as the critical faculty and
ability to act. It should enable people to
develop awareness of themselves and their
environment and encourage them to play their
social role at work and in the community.  
Thai government has clear policy on human
resources development considering that the best
strategy to develop workforce is in the
workplace, so the vital role of enterprises on
human resources development has been recognized
and the Skill Development Promotion Act B.E.2002
has been issuing for encouraging enterprises to
provide training, upgrading skills, knowledge and
competencies for employees and for those who are
not employees. And also encourage private sector
to set up and register with the DSD their own
training centers for workplace learning and
The incentives have been provided to enterprises
by deduction the cost of training 200 percent
from the annual tax payment. The compulsory
measure has been applied for the establishments
that have at least 100 employees have to provide
training for the employees at the rate of 50
percent of the total number of employees, if not
the employer have to pay contribution to the
Skill Development Fund approximately 480 baht per
head per year for the number of untrained
employees. Further more the establishments gain
other benefit under this Act such as exemption
tax of the training machines, bringing experts or
trainers to train their workers. Free charge of
water and electric fees. According to the DSD,
890,000 workers were trained in the workplaces
during OCT.2005-SEPT.2006. (Administrative
Information, Ministry of Labour, July 2006.)
International Cooperation
The Thai government has policy supporting
international cooperation. So, line ministries
have to bring that policy to implement in the
scope of their responsibility, such as Ministry
of Labour is responsible for labour and workforce
development, the cooperation should be in this
field. DSD has various international cooperation
programmes and projects, both in Bi-lateral and
Multi-lateral cooperation.
DSD has set up the Songkla International
Institute for Skill Development in Songkla
province, in the southern part of Thailand under
the Indonesia Malaysia Thailand Growth Triangle
(IMT-GT) cooperation. The cooperation projects on
human resources development has been done in the
form of project. Some projects that were appeared
in the Action Plan 2007 2011. (Detail is shown
in the paper)
The another international institute is located
in the northern part of Thailand named
Chiang-Saen International Institute for Skill
Development. This institute was set up to provide
training for the GMS countries. The study of the
Asian Development Bank (ADB) proposed that the
economic cooperation in these 6 countries would
strengthen this region to be competing with other
regions and survival through the effect of
globalization. (Six countries are Cambodia, South
China, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Thailand.).
Thai government assigned Maefah-Luang University
to conduct the survey on the demand of training
people in GMS countries and the related area in
this country. The study showed that the main
focus was the setting up the occupational skills
standard and testing system in the GMS countries.
The GMS countries agreed to adopt the ASEAN
Skills Standard which was assigned by the ASEAN
Labour Ministers to develop with the budget
supported by the Aust-aid or Australian
government. Because the GMS countries are also
the members of ASEAN, this project was completed.
The ASEAN Secretariat has just circulated the two
new project proposals for members to
consider. Thai government has offered training
to people in GMS countries in various courses by
the funding of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNDP
and the German government. The training included
the industrial, commercial and the service
DSD has implemented many projects under ASEAN
Network of Women in Skills Training (ASEAN-NWST).
Besides, DSD has joined the Asean Regional
Skill Standard Programme funded by Australian
Government. This project completed both first and
second phases. (Detail is shown in the paper)
Cambodian-Thai Skill Development Center
Thai Government has provided a training center
in Phnom Penh for both grant aid and technical
assistance for the Cambodian Government including
the training for the officials and instructors.
Other Training
Ministry of Foreign Affairs has provided
technical assistance to developing countries by
requested and DSD is the implementing unit for
skill development. DSD is also joining the
ASEM Life Long Learning for Employability
Programme and active in APEC Human Resources
Development Working Group. There are many
activities under these two regional cooperation.
Training of DSD Staff
Officers from Department of Skill Development
received fellowship from many sources of funding
to attend training courses for upgrading their
skills to cope with the development of
technologies such as from ILO/APSDEP, Japan,
Korea, Germany, Canada, etc.
Japan government provided grant aid and
technical assistance to Konkaen Skill Development
Institute and Ubol Ratchatani Skill Development
Institute.Thai officials, Instructors were
trained in Japan in various trades during the
five years project and after. The Japanese
experts and volunteers were sent to work for DSD.
Further more Thai youths were granted scholarship
to study in Japan at Polytechnic University for
five years programme in engineering, ICT,
architect, etc since 1992. This programme is
still existing.
Korean government provided instructor training
courses expecially in advance technology for DSD
staffs and also sent the Korean volunteers to
work for DSD in various trades nearly 40 people.
The German government provided scholarship to
DSD staffs to study and train in Germany as well
as sent experts to work for DSD in various
fields. Further more provided financial support
for various international projects for GMS
countries, also the Songkla institute gained the
technical assistance at the early stage of
setting up.
The Canadian government also provided technical
assistance to the Surat-Thani institute for skill
DSD is actively working with the ILO in various
activities such as APSDEP, SKILLS-AP. Last year
TICA, ILO, DSD and the Songkla province
co-organized the international seminar for IMT-GT
and the GMS countries named ILO/SKILLS-AP/Thailan
d Regional Technical Meeting on Developing Skills
Standards and Improving the Quality and
Effectiveness of Training in IMT-GT and GMS
Countries. DSD cooperates with the Asian Studies
Centers of the Chulalongkorn University
conducting the research on Increasing
Productivity of ASEAN Workforce.
Proposing for the Future Cooperation
In order to respond the policy of the Thai
government that Thailand should be the center for
human resources development, so, DSD is ready to
offer international cooperation for member
countries in Asia and the Pacific. The activities
are cooperation on training, exchanging training
personnel, training resources as well as
conducting research and development on HRD for
the purpose of the well beings of people in the
area. Also we can gain the benefit of
international cooperation by broadering our
vision on the issue on skill development, raising
the quality of learning and training and bridging
the gap between developed and developing
countries. Skill Development can be applied to
eradicate the poverty by creating employment. The
most important is to create understanding for the
well beings of our human resources. We are not
compete but helping for survival from the effect
of globalization.
Thank you
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