Note on Skill Development & Employment Generation in Thailand Note on Skill Development & Employment Generation in Thailand

Note on Skill Development & Employment Generation in Thailand

Skill Development & Employment Generation in Thailand


The following statistics relating to the Thai model of Skill Development & Employment generation are fascinating:


Total population

65 million


Percentage employed of employable population



Proportion of manufacturing in GDP



Tourist Flows/year

35 million (2017)


Average years of schooling (2008)

8.25 years


Per capita GDP

6,000 USD


Percentage of women in workforce



Women’s contribution to GDP


2. One of the main reasons for Thailand’s success is its women workforce which forms 64% of total workforce and contributes 50% of GDP. Thailand receives one tourist for every two persons of its population. In other words, foreign tourists equivalent to about half of its population visit Thailand every year. Tourism sector contributes to the extent of 20% of Thailand’s GDP. Thailand has managed these statistics despite lack of English language skills of its population.

3. Skill Development Promotion Act of 2002 created a Skill Development Fund (SDF) and offers various benefits to skill promotion agencies. The SDF was set up & managed by the Department of Skill Development of the Ministry of Labour & Social Welfare. It is financed by contributions from the Government and the private sector. It provides loans to trainees and also training to trainers. Benefits include Income tax exemption on training expenditure; exemption from VAT & import duty for tools & machinery for training purposes; deduction on utility charges for electricity and water equivalent to twice of training expenses; immigration facilitation for experts brought by trainers. The Skill Development Promotion Act requires that firms with 100 or more employees have in house training facility at least for 50% of its employees or, alternatively, they contribute a prescribed amount to SDF. The SDF also promotes the establishment of skill training centres, country wide skill contests; etc.

Organizational structure for Skill Development

7. Thailand has 144 skill development centres, including 1 national, 13 regional and 34 provincial ones. The organizational structure of skill development can be summarized as below:

Ministry of Labour

Ministry of Education



Non-formal education

Department of Skill Development

(i) Technical Studies and Planning Division

(ii) Woman and Child Skill Development Coordination Division

(iii) Occupational Skill Standards Division

(iv) Design & Construction Division

(v) Training Technology Development Division

(vi) Office of Skill Development Promotion

(vii) Office of the National Board of Vocational Training Coordination

(viii) Institute for Training Personnel Development

(ix) National Institute of Skill Development

(x) Regional Institute of Skill Development

(xi) Provincial Centres for Skill Development

(i) Department of Vocational Education

(ii) National Board of Vocational Training Coordination

(iii) Provincial Subcommittee for Vocational Training Coordination

(a) Polytechnics (3-12 months training)

(b) Industrial & Community education colleges (workshop based training)

(i) Department on Non-Formal Education

(a) Institutional (b) Non-Institutional

(i) Skill development Fund

(ii) Company based training centres

(iii) Private vocational training centres

Take Aways:

(i) Creation of a Skill Development Fund, including contributions from companies which do not meet the legal requirements of skill training to its employees is useful.

(ii) Conducting skill testing competitions at district, state and national levels to motivate and popularize skill development amongst the people can be considered.

(v) Universities should have at least Skill Development Centre attached to them.

(ix) Identification of one local product from each district of the country and promoting it at the national and international level can be combined with skill development.