Thai Workforce- Ready for ASEAN Economic Community 2015?

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THAI WORKFORCE- READY FOR ASEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY 2015?

Abstract

ASEAN countries are moving briskly towards the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015. Together with monetary and technological resources, human resources are also vital for ASEAN countries stay competitive in the single market of AEC. Taking the case of Thailand, this paper evaluates the readiness of the Thai workforce in preparing for the integration.  It brings to light several fundamental issues of the Thai workforce: (1) the quality of labor in Thailand remains moderate; (2) productivity continues to stay behind other ASEAN countries such as Singapore. The failure of the Thai educational system and the workforce skill mismatch are primary attributes to the workforce’s relatively low skill levels and productivity. Based on the empirical analysis, the paper suggests renewing the role of the Thai government in restructuring the national education system as well as cooperating workforce skill planning into the master development plan.

Keywords       workforce, labor, workers, Thailand, ASEAN, ASEAN Economic Community

Nancy Huyen Nguyen and John Walsh

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