Hotels and other tourism businesses will also be encouraged to hire former inmates and elderly persons, and more steps will be taken to manage the importation of migrant labour “to do jobs that Thai people do not want to do”, Bunyawee Khaipan, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Employment, said yesterday (Dec 27).
Ms Bunyawee unveiled her strategies to help resolve Phuket’s hotel labour crisis at the ‘Phuket Job Fair 2022’, held at the Central Festival Phuket shopping mall.
The job fair saw 43 businesses with more than 2,000 vacancies on offer open to receive applications from potential employees.
According to the Phuket Provincial Employment Office, there are 1,423 places of employment in Phuket with 17,173 job positions waiting to be filled, said an official report of Ms Bunyawee’s visit.
The job fair was organised by the Phuket Employment Office in collaboration with the Phuket Tourist Association, the Thai Hotel Association (Southern Region chapter) and the Patong Human Resource Management Club.
Present for the occasion were Phuket Vice Governor Danai Sunantarod, Pichit Singthongkham of the Phuket Recruitment Office and Rangsiman Kingkaew of the Phuket Tourist Association.
Of note, the job fair also saw the Phuket Employment Office offer career counselling services and registration services for those looking to work abroad.
Ms Bunyawee said Minister of Labour Suchart Chomklin was aware of the acute labour shortage in Phuket, especially in the hospitality and tourism sectors, and had assigned her to take action to help resolve the crisis.
“The problem of labour shortage in the Phuket area is the result of the tourism situation in Phuket continuing to recover after the country fully reopened. Currently, there are about 8,000 foreign tourists travelling through the airport each day, with the number of tourists expected to increase through the end of 2022 and into early 2023. In addition, the proportion of Thai tourists increased at 41.34% compared with 2019,” Ms Bunyawee said.
The type of businesses with the highest number of vacancies are hotel and other accommodation businesses, in the positions of front desk staff, food and beverage service staff, housekeepers and spa masseuses, followed by tourism-related service business and wholesale and retail businesses, respectively, she added.
The measures were agreed on to help resolve the labour shortage in the short-term, Ms Bunyawee said.
The first is to promote job vacancies in Phuket to provinces in the Northeast, highlighting that Phuket now has a minimum wage of B354 a day, the equal highest in the country, she said.
“The Department of Employment will also work with educational institutions in the Northeast to offer students work placements in Phuket where they will gain valuable work skills and experience,” she added.
The third short-term measure will be the Department of Employment working with the Department of Skill Development Training to develop people with work skills matching those in short supply in Phuket, such as Thai massage and mechanical work. The people to be targetted to develop the much needed skills included vocational students and soldiers preparing to discharge from military service, Ms Bunyawee said.
“In the long term, we will use career guidance for students to help guide those looking for work to enter the labour market with the skills in high demand in Phuket,” Ms Bunyawee continued.
“In addition, we will coordinate with businesses to hire reformed inmates and the elderly to work, and manage the importation of migrant workers to replace vacancies that Thai workers do not want to do,” she said.
“Business operators will need to adjust their staffing policies, reduce their requirements and focus on those who are ready to learn and willing to develop themselves while working,” Ms Bunyawee said.