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Phuket officials sign agreement to address labour shortage in tourism, hospitality

PHOTO: Flickr/Patong Beach Lodge

Representatives of Phuket’s business sector and the Office of Vocational Education Commission have signed an agreement aimed at tackling the labour shortage on the island. The Bangkok Post reports that under the agreement, vocational institutes would provide graduates and part-time students to the tourism and service industries.

Latest figures show the island currently needs around 30,000 additional workers.

Multiple sectors of Phuket’s hospitality and tourism economy have been screaming for new staff to keep their businesses growing following the new influx of tourists since October last year.

Somporn Pandam, deputy secretary-general of the OVEC, says study courses can be adjusted to allow suitably-qualified graduates to take up work immediately after graduating. He says the Phuket model could serve as a pilot for other vocational institutes and businesses around the country.

Phuket’s tourism sector is bouncing back in a big way, following Covid-19, but with countless workers having left the province during the pandemic, the island is experiencing an extreme labour shortage. Many former workers in the tourism sector have not returned or are now working in other sectors.

The director of Phuket Vocational College, Witthaya Ketchu, says his institute has played an important role in trying to address the problem, by holding job fairs and inviting skilled graduates from elsewhere in the region to attend.

“The agreement signed today is also for over 3,000 business firms and 48 educational institutes under OVEC to arrange for students to work part-time in Phuket during their vacation. It is hoped this would help solve the labour shortage in the province.”

Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew, who was one of the signatories to yesterday’s agreement, says addressing the labour shortage is critical to the island’s bid to host the 2028 Specialised Expo and to promoting Phuket as an international medical hub within the next 5 years.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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