EEC Office acting to upgrade talent for tech jobs

The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Office signed an agreement with a private British education firm to help create the human resources needed to fill the high-technology jobs coming online under Thailand 4.0, the national strategy for advanced development, one of several initiatives by the government to foster a more competitive workforce.

The EEC Office has signed a memorandum of understanding with Pearson Education for a Framework for Human Resource Development Collaboration. “The project aims to transfer the expertise of Pearson, the U.K.-based education company, to develop the Thai workforce to meet the demands of so-called S-Curve industries,’’ reported the Opengovasia website.

S-curve industries are industrial sectors that can be boosted and further developed by adding value through advanced technologies. That leads those industries, in which growth or performance had been trending downward, to start rising again, as in the shape of an “S.” Opengovasia wrote that this process is expected to grow rapidly within the next five years.

Thailand is promoting 10 such industries under Thailand 4.0, and they will be concentrated in the Corridor. Some analysts have questioned, however, whether Thailand has the human resources – a workforce in sufficient numbers that possess the advanced education, skills, and training needed by those industries – to ensure the success of the national strategy.

“Thailand has to make changes to their education system, which will take up to 20 years before the country can reap the benefits of its Eastern Economic Corridor investment zone,’’ Opengovasia wrote.

The partnership with Pearson Education is one way of responding to that issue, although it is a targeted solution that is somewhat limited in scope.

The Thai government, however, is well aware of the need to upgrade the Kingdom’s human resources and education system and has begun taking other actions that should prove to be more comprehensive and address medium and longer-term concerns.

In May, the government announced it will establish a new Ministry of Research and Higher Education by merging the Ministry of Science and Technology with the Office of Higher Education.

Combining the two would unify all research universities and related institutes to produce and manage human resources in response to the country’s future development programs; as well as, support technology start-ups, and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to leverage the use of new technologies, according to Minister of Science and Technology Suvit Maesincee.

The private sector is also getting involved. PTT and other leading corporations are funding a high school and research institute in the EEC for the best and brightest of the nation’s students in science and technology. The schools are extremely advanced and supplied with the latest cutting-edge equipment, laboratories, and top-level international instructors.