A meeting of Sub Committee on EEC-Model Human Resource Development was held on 19 May 2020 with Dr. Suvit Maesincee, Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (MHESI) serving as the chairman. The meeting reviewed the demand-driven HRD plan and the partnerships between the Eastern Economic Corridor Office of Thailand (EECO) and other agencies concerning HRD. Details of the discussion are as follows:
Demand-driven HRD plan
- Agencies in charge of HRD activities for EEC will implement their activities according to EEC Model Type A and EEC Model Type B under the coordination of Eastern Economic Corridor Human Development Center (EEC-HDC).
- Office of the Permanent Secretary for Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (OPS) is assigned to revise university-degree programs and vocational certificate programs to fit the criteria of EEC Model Type A as much as possible.
- Agencies obtained government funding for organizing short courses in fiscal years 2020 and 2021 are encouraged to expedite their projects to achieve the target which is set at 30,000 trained personnel.
Partnerships between the Eastern Economic Corridor Office of Thailand (EECO) and other agencies concerning HRD
- EECO – Office of Vocational Education Commission Collaboration
- Twelve institutes of vocational education in the East – with a total capacity of 8,200 graduates per year – are encouraged to have at least 30% of Class of 2023 enrolling in the EEC Model Type A. (1,500 students have already enrolled, and 7,000 more students are needed to meet the target.)
- The target number of students taking short courses funded by the 50:50 public-private joint program has been raised to 20,000 in fiscal year 2021.
- Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) is to be implemented by incorporating English language into all learning subjects to familiarize vocational students with English terminologies used in their fields of training.
- EECO – Department of Skill Development (DSD) Collaboration
- DSD training centers located in EEC such as Manufacturing Automation and Robotics Academy (MARA) are encouraged to intensify their collaboration with the private sector in reskilling and upskilling their current workforce through short courses.
- DSD will develop short courses to be funded 50% by the private sector and coordinate with the industry to implement reskilling and upskilling programs, particularly on workforce affected by COVID-19.
- EECO – OPS Collaboration
- Universities are encouraged to design demand-driven curricula complemented with Co-operative Education and Cooperative Work Integrated Education (CWIE).
- A program will be established to facilitate and fund the above-mentioned demand-driven curricula, with incentives given to participating companies.
- OPS is requested to expand the CWIE program in accordance with EEC Model Type A to meet the EEC manpower demand of 100,000 personnel within 5 years.
Minister Suvit also urged EEC to attract investment from businesses in BCG (Bio-Circular-Green Economy), as Thailand possesses competitive advantages in resources to back up BCG sectors such as food and agriculture, as well as health and medicine. He further added that the public and private sectors need to work together to create jobs and reskill/upskill workforce in preparation for post-COVID economic recovery.
The Sub Committee is planning to conduct a survey on manpower demands to shed light on the post-COVID job landscape and help determine manpower development strategy and plan more effectively. NXPO has previously conducted a survey on workforce demands in 12 target industries, resulting in a comprehensive data on future job positions and skill sets. These data and survey questionnaire will be shared with partners – Ministry of Labor, Office of Vocational Education Commission, EECO and Thailand Board of Investment – as a foundation for the new survey.