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IOM and the Department of Skills Development Collaborate to Facilitate Skills Development for Migrant Workers in Thailand

Bangkok – This month, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in partnership with the Department of Skills Development (DSD) of the Ministry of Labour, launched a video for Thai businesses to facilitate skills development for migrant workers.

“The Department of Skill Development is the main governmental organization that develops skills and productivity of workforce to create decent jobs. In this regard, the Department has passed Skill Development Promotion Act B.E. 2545 and its Amendment (No. 2) B.E. 2557 which focuses on encouraging businesses to develop the skills of their employees to enhance labour productivity and national competitiveness. For example, businesses with more than 100 employees are required to either provide skill training or have their employees take and pass the national skill standard test or hire employees with occupational licenses. Such employees must be no less than 50 per cent of the average number of employees in each calendar year, otherwise, they are required to make a Skill Development Fund contribution payment,” said Mr Prateep Thronglumyong, the Director General of the Department of Skill Development.

“This stipulation aims to benefit all workers, including migrant workers,” Mr Thronglumyong added.

However, many businesses still do not take advantage of the different Government schemes to access support for skills development for their workforce, including migrant employees.

The newly launched video by IOM and the DSD lays down information on the responsibilities of Thai businesses as well as the benefits and entitlements under Thai laws that all workers regardless of nationality and gender can enjoy.

For instance, businesses can claim an income tax exemption on 100 per cent of the cost of training regardless of the number of employees they have. This applies to in-house training, internal training conducted by a training agency and training held in partnership with an academic institute or skills development provider arranged by the Government.

In addition to the financial benefits, having trained employees can increase productivity in the workplace and build a good reputation for businesses by complying with the requirements of international laws and standards.

The importance of skills development for migrant workers is recognized in international standards and frameworks, including the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), of which Thailand is a champion country.

Ms Geraldine Ansart, Chief of Mission at IOM Thailand, further highlighted the importance of skills development for migrant workers.

“Improving skills development in Thailand is crucial to enhancing the employability of migrant workers and contributing to better working conditions and protection for migrant workers,” said Ms Ansart.

“This is particularly important during the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Migrant workers should be offered skills development and reskilling opportunities to adjust to the post-pandemic labour markets,” she added.

The video builds on IOM’s Good Practices Guidelines on Skills Development for Migrant Workers, which provides guidance to employers, private recruitment agencies and skills development providers in collaborating closely and developing the skills of migrant workers from Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Myanmar.

Watch the video on: bit.ly/380Y3QI

This initiative is implemented under IOM’s Poverty Reduction through Safe Migration, Skills Development and Enhanced Job Placement (PROMISE) programme. PROMISE is a regional initiative that aims to support migrant workers in accessing skills development leading to gainful employment and to promote enhanced protection of migrant workers in collaboration with key stakeholders from public and private sectors.

For more information, please contact mediathailand@iom.int or Mr Maximilian Pottler at mpottler@iom.int