Phuket tourism completed a full turnaround from the Covid-19 pandemic days of no customers to so many customers that there aren’t enough workers to take care of them. Now, an agreement has been signed between the Office of Vocational Education Commission (OVEC) and representatives of the business sector in Phuket to address the labour shortage in the province’s tourism and service industries.
Tourism-related businesses in Phuket are desperately seeking about 30,000 skilled workers, according to the OVEC deputy secretary-general. The organisation will help by revising its curriculum to churn out workers who are skilled and ready to dive into the workforce immediately after graduation.
OVEC hopes to make Phuket the model for other collaborations between businesses and vocational institutes throughout Thailand. Phuket Vocational College, for example, played a significant role in resolving the labour shortage by organizing job fares and inviting students and skilled workers from other provinces. Witthaya Ketchu, director of the Phuket Vocational College explained the new initiative.
“The agreement signed today is also for over 3,000 business firms and 48 educational institutes under OVEC to arrange for students to work part-time in Phuket during a vacation. It is hoped this would help solve the labour shortage in the province.”
Officials met at City Hall on Sunday to hold a signing ceremony for the agreement between OVEC and the business sector. Signatories from both the public and private sectors took part, including the governor, and the chairman of the Phuket Industrial Council.
The signing of this agreement aims to alleviate the labour shortage crisis and support the future growth of Phuket’s tourism and service industries.
According to Phuket governor Narong Woonciew, addressing the labour shortage is a crucial aspect of the province’s preparations to become an international medical hub in five years and host Expo 2028.
Meanwhile, the president of the Thai Hoteliers Association of the South, explains the shortage resulted from the rapid recovery of Phuket’s tourism over the last year. Hotel occupancy has continually increased from 40% in mid-2022 to 70% in late 2022.
The average occupancy rate between January and March in 2023 has surpassed numbers before the pandemic. Pre-Covid, occupancy was 86% in the first quarter, but that figure has risen to 88% this year.
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