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Thailand’s Labour Shortages

While back on June 2005, The Nation had published article on Thailand’s Labour Shortages. Here is an exert from it. You can read the full article by clicking on THINK-TANK SPEECH: Labour shortages need fixing: PM

Prime Minister Thak-sin Shinawatra yesterday said Thailand might need to import talent such as medical doctors or software engineers to help increase the country’s competitiveness. Speaking at the annual meeting of the National Economic and Social Development Board NESDB, Thaksin said Thailand was facing two critical issues over the next five years – poverty reduction and economic restructuring.

To restructure the economy, the country needs to find a solution to its labour shortage, particularly for medical doctors and software engineers, Thaksin said.
“We have produced doctors for the United States, but we do not use foreign doctors. We require foreign doctors to pass a test in the Thai language if they want to work here. Why do we need to protect this career?” Thaksin asked a gathering of 2,000 people representing state officials, academics, business and civil groups.

He pointed to India, where universities are churning out herds of scientists and some 300,000 software engineers a year. Thailand cannot match this output.
Beggars and unskilled labourers from neighbouring countries freely enter the country, but rich people and highly-skilled labourers face several barriers to entering the Kingdom for work, Thaksin said. Thai authorities should remove all complicated rules and regulations that prevent the free flow of qualified people to work and live in the country.

He called on private companies to restructure operations in order to prepare for fierce competition as a result of trade liberalisation. The government bailed out private debtors and restructured their debt after the 1997 financial crisis and is not in a position to make any more bailouts, he said.
“Everyone has to leave their personal agendas behind. If we do not change today how can we survive in the next 10 years?” Thaksin asked rhetorically”

– Wichit Chaitrong, The Nation

I totally disagree with the PM’s ideas to solve Thailand’s labour shortage problem, particularly for medical doctors and software engineers. Thailand will eventually produce these individuals as near future. Sometime, I think that Dr. Thaksin tries to solve the problem too quickly to impress himself and his own political alliances.

Thailand has so much to offer to the world in our own way. Importing the best foreign individual from around the world is not the best way to proceed. First, they are not cheap labor to begin with. Second, they take away the job from local people. For Thailand to be competitive and sustainable in the future, we need to produce the home grow medical doctors and software engineers by ourselves. Thais are capable to perform this type of service.

We can do this by using our own Thai scholars, who have or currently have been living aboard to come home to train our own Thai individual in those fields. They have the right knowledge to do it due to experience and training from abroad. I do believe that Thailand has the right infrastructures and facilities to do this. All we need are these individuals to step-up to the place. Although, Thai might argue that they might not make the best money in his/her native land, so they need to export themselves to the foreign market. But sometime, Thais need to import themselves for the better of her country. Thais need to remember were they are come from. This would be the best trade off for the country.

No matter what countries you work in the world, individual need to know the local language in order to be successful in what you. When Thais go to the foreign land, they required to learn the foreign land local language. So when the foreigners want to do business in Thailand, we expect them to do to the same. Remove the language requirement for foreign to do business in Thailand would be a wrong idea.

Future of Thai Youths

Reading the blog from SiamJai called Thailand’s future and his remarks on Thai youths; I feel that I should contribute to the subject. It seems that no ones yet to post other blog or discussion on this subject either. Today, I would like to discuss my thoughts toward Thai youths in the new emerging economy.

As Thailand has recovered from the Asian economic crisis back in 1997, in the past couple years, it seems to enjoy enormous growth and prosperity, except a couple set back of SAR disease, drug wars, local problems in the South, and a traumatic event of tsunami last December. Other than that, Thailand seems to continue make it strive and advancement of technological development throughout the country including educational accessibility and funding provided by the government and Royal Family. I think our PM did a good of job of that. But it’s not the point that I try to convey here. I’m worry about Thai youths that growing up during the late 90s to now, as we are continuing to progress in the 21st century, might lose our traditional culture value.

From what I have seen and read through media, socializing with my Thai friends, and reading through the discussions and blogs in this site, Thai youths seem to have lost interested in our traditional value and a proper way of living. The Thai youths, who are currently growing up in Thailand today depicts too much toward liberal western style culture of life. Although, this is great strategically thinking because it helps children to become more independent and expand his/her knowledge of thinking. However, too much influence and pressure from western style might cause them to lose their native culture and values. If you speak to any Thai individuals, they would agree with me.

To my current knowledge of understanding Thai youths today, children are being educated to think creativity and encourage participating in school activities such as playing sports, volunteerism, and others. Parents have more choices where to send their kids to school. With technological advancement and socioeconomic variability, Thai youths have access to the Internet, mobile phone, and other formal of technology that you can name of. Let face it….if a child today asked his/her parents for something; he/she will get it. In fact, they have ability to rebellion against their parents’ teaching if they do not agree with them. This is due to culture influence from western cultures and socio-economical improvement of their parents.

The culture has shift toward a western style of life. Thai education system is incrementally changing and might eventually adopt the full process of western style of teaching. My questions are: Where does Thai traditional culture and value fit in the new Thai education curriculum? Does Thai youth today, still have Buddhism teaching, history, and culture teaching in their education curriculum? Maybe Richard, SiamJai, SteveSuphan, Oakmonster, or others can write more on this topic. I am very interested to see where Thailand will be in, let say, 20-30 years from now.

It is in reversal trends to see the Thai youths, who are growing up in the western culture, where their parents are native Thai-born. The youths are being educated by their mother or father native way of life and value. It seems to me that we, Thai, do educate so much of our value and culture to the Western world and forget to educated Thai youths, who are currently growing up in Thailand.

This leads me to think that we (Thai) did a good job of educating foreigner or Western society about our own Thai culture and fail to educate our Thai youths in her native culture. I wonder how this will contradict itself out in the future. Maybe foreigner knows more about our way of life, than native Thai really do.

I hope this post will spark out a lot more discussions and blogs in weeks and months to come.

Knowledge from a Thai Adoptee…..Maitree

One of the Beaches in Rayong

I have been reading through this blog for a while. Thank you so much Richard for setting up this web community for the individuals that love Thailand, and for the native individuals to share their perspective of her own culture and identity. I have enlightened by the information that being share here in this web community. After a couple months of reading many insightful ideas and thoughts on this site, I decided to contribute to this community because I got an inspiration or firing up by reading through your regular columnists: Oakmonster and Bow. These two individual did a good job of sharing their lives experience. I also enjoy Richard, Steve, and other people post too.

In fact, I have pretty similar journey as Oakmonster, but in the opposite end of her. You shall see why…. Let the journey begin! My name to be use in this blog is Maitree, which mean friendship in Thai. I got this name from a group of friends in Thailand. These individuals know that I have a lot of friends.

My real name is Decha Chanrueng Robinson. I am, a Thai adoptee, who was born and raised in Thailand until the early teens. Toward the middle of my teenage years, I was adopted by American family from St. Paul, Minnesota (USA). I am originally from Rayong, Thailand. When you hear of this province, you might think that I am from major industrial Amphur Mueang Rayong or somewhere near the Gulf of Thailand, but I am not. I am from Amphur Ban Khai, Rayong. It is approximately 30 km north of Amphur Mueang Rayong and approximately 175 km drive from Bangkok.

I was born and raised there until about four years of age and then was placed into the orphanage institution in Nonthaburi named “Prakkred Baby Home.” I lived there approximately two years and then got transferred to a neighbor orphanage institution named “Prakkred Home for Cripple Children.” I live in this institution for approximately seven more years. So a total of experience living in the institution was approximately nine years. In 1994, I got adopted, which brought me into the United States. Since then, I have been living in the states for eleven plus years now. I am enjoying my life in the states but I still have a lot of interest on my native land. Currently, I am in the middle twenties year and pursuing my master education in business administration (finance) at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan. I am going graduate at the end of this year, so I am in the process of job searching.

My goal for regular contribution of this community are to share my adoption experience, life in the United States, general perspective and knowledge of culture shift [alternate] between Thailand and the United States. I will try to post something interesting one per week but not guarantee for sure since I am full-time MBA student.

I am looking forward to meet all of you.

P.S. You may spot my grammatical errors from time to time. Sorry for this. English is not my first language. But I will try my best to use the “correct grammar” as much as I can. I am studious, [extra] sensitive, and at time very stubborn Thai-born personality. But I will try to keep an open-mind and might make you giggle at time because I love to exchange and share knowledge with others. I will also view things as if I am a CEO of an organization. The MBA or business program in the United States teaches me to view thing as If I am a CEO. If you have listen or read our King’s speech in the last couple years….you know what I mean.