Tourism industry worries about labor shortage

PHUKET: The island’s tourism industry is suffering a shortage of skilled staff because many workers left the island during the slump after the tsunami, Dechar Peukpattanaruk, Chief of the Phuket Provincial Labor Office, said today.

He said that although many people are applying for the estimated 4,000 vacancies in Phuket’s tourism industry, very few of them have the appropriate qualifications or skills.

K. Dechar said that, with bookings now matching pre-tsunami levels, many tourism businesses in Phuket are becoming increasingly concerned about their ability to cater to tourists during the coming high season.

After the tsunami, many people working in tourism were laid off or resigned becauser there was no work. “But now Phuket is coming back, and the number of bookings is nearly the same as for the same period last year,” K. Dechar said.

Now, he explained, many hotels were having difficulty wooing back to Phuket former staff who had moved to other tourism destinations, including Koh Samui and Pattaya.

As a short-term strategy, he advised businesses suffering from a shortage of skilled staff to implement in-house training programs, and to boost links with with the educational institutions on the island and with the Phuket Provincial Skills Development Office.

For the long-term, K. Dechar said his office was working to ensure better correlation of the skills required in the workplace with those taught at universities and colleges.

Phuket News

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