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Foreigners in Phuket: Dive shop blitz clarifies instructors’ work descriptions

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Foreign dive instructors’ job descriptions were clarified during an inspection led by Phuket Governor Maitri Inthusut in Patong today, as the Public-sector Anti Corruption Commission (PACC) investigates allegations that police were extorting money from them due to ambiguities in work permits (story here).

“We only came to check work permits and clarify the information within them to the employees. We did not come to make any arrests; that is not our job,” said Phuket Employment Office Chief Yaowapa Pibulpol.

Job descriptions in work permits are only written in Thai. Despite a push from Governor Maitri and the Association of Thailand for Underwater Sports (ATUS) (story here and here), that will not change, explained Orakarn Tongkaew of the Employment Office.

“Work permits are the property of the Thai government and will only be written in Thai,” said Ms Orakarn. “However, our officers must explain the job description and what is written on the permit when the employee picks it up.”

Ms Yaowapa explained that dive instructors are allowed to lecture students, as well as train with them in swimming pools and in the sea.

“You must carry out these activities in Phuket province only, as the authority of the Employment Office only covers people working in Phuket,” she added.

She went on to clarify that dive instructors are not meant to be tour guides or to help customers carry equipment.

“Thai law lists 39 jobs that are specifically reserved for Thai nationals, and service jobs, such as carrying equipment and acting as tour guides, are included on that list,” Ms Yaowapa said.

— Saran Mitrarat

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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