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MoU aims to use students to ease hospitality labour shortage

MoU aims to use students to ease hospitality labour shortage

PHUKET: A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in Phuket yesterday (Mar 12) that aims to have vocational education students gain experience in the tourism industry during their college holidays, with special focus on helping to ease the labour shortage in Phuket’s hospitality sector.

By The Phuket News

Monday 13 March 2023, 11:51AM

The MoU was signed at Phuket Provincial Hall, with Office of the Vocational Education (OVEC) Deputy Secretary-General Somporn Pandam leading the proceedings.

Present for the occasion was Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew and Rewat Areerob, President of the Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation (PPAO), along with Witthaya Ketchu, Director of Phuket Vocational College, and Sueksit Suwanditkul, President of the Thai Hotels Association Southern chapter.

Mr Witthaya explained that more than 3,000 businesses had joined the initiative, including major hotel chains such as Accor and Minor Group, as 48 institutions nationwide operating under OVEC.

The agreement would see vocational students gain experience in the hospitality sector and help them earn extra money during college holidays, he said.

Mr Witthaya said the MoU would help fill some 30,000 positions vacant in the tourism industry.

Official reports maintained that the initiative would help ease Phuket’s labour shortage. However, Kongsak Khoopongsakorn of the Phuket Chamber of Commerce last month revealed that the situation in Phuket had eased considerably, with only about 3,000-4,000 positions vacant remaining to be filled.

The discrepancy was not explained in the official reports marking the MoU signing yesterday.

According to the Bangkok Post, Mr Suksit yesterday said that Phuket’s rapid recovery had resulted in the hospitality labour shortage on the island. Hotel occupancy rose from 40% in mid-2022 to 70% in late 2022, with average occupancy rate in January-March 2023 rising to 88%, compared with 86% before COVID-19, he said.

He hoped the agreement would be an answer to the problem, the Bangkok Post reported.

Governor Narong said that resolving the labour shortage would help the prvincial government’s preparations to host Expo 2028 and “to push for Thailand and Phuket to be an international medical hub in five years”.

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Old guy | 14 March 2023 - 19:25:29

OK, let's actually solve this problem.  The government needs to set up specialized 2 year English courses in high schools and universities, taught by native English speakers with real teaching experience. After 2 years, 
graduates will be ready to face a world of commerce and tourism. Problem solved all by 2027 when we're told there will be 80 million  tourists. 


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