PHUKET: Shortages of skilled personnel in Phuket’s hospitality and service sectors look to be reduced with increased collaboration between key operators and the island’s biggest, yet underutilized supplier of human resources.
Six major hotels, along with two food and beverage operators on February 7 signed bilateral agreements with the Phuket Vocational College to cooperate in jointly managing students’ vocational education.
The eight operators include Best Western Allamanda Laguna Phuket, Duangjitt Resort and Spa, Boat Lagoon Resort, Outrigger Laguna Phuket Resort and Villas, ibis Hotel (Patong), Holiday Inn Resort Phuket, MK Restaurants and Oishi Group Ltd.
Presided over by Phuket Vice Governor Somkiet Sangkaosuttirak, the signing ceremony was held at the Phuket Vocational college.
Attending were academic administrators, instructors, guests and representatives and signatories from the respective operators.
Sunthon Ponrong, Director of Phuket Vocational College, praised the collaboration.
“For more than 70 years, management of vocational education in the [Thai] school system has largely been based at schools and institutions, where students were taught and trained in crafts for the agricultural, industrial, commercial, arts and home economics sectors, so they could go on to apply what they learned in various careers, in which operators would be the ones to hire them,” he said.
“Presently, the vocational education act requires educational institutions to collaborate with operators in order to be able to produce vocational human resources to meet the needs of the actual labor market.
“[Initiating] bilateral management agreements is one approach that can solve the national problem of [lacking] human resource production and development, in terms of both quantity and quality. Thus, the Phuket Vocational College bilaterally collaborates with a number of operators in Phuket.
“By signing the agreements, [you] eight operators are showing intent to collaborate, cooperate and join forces with the Phuket Vocational College, to promote and support bilateral vocational management, by combining resources and efforts to produce a professional work force,” he added.
Vice Governor Somkiet echoed Mr Sunthon, emphasizing the need and importance of bilateral agreements.
“This represents an important step in solving the national-scale problem of lacking adequate production and development of both the quantity and quality of human resources.
“Institutions have the role of training and instructing students, and operators will apply these human resources [students and skills]. This collaboration will be a joint effort across the whole process, starting from thinking and doing and on to investing.
“All sectors are in agreement that institutions and operators must jointly manage [vocational] education and lay out a plan to ensure that the production and development of human resources is in line with the strategy of the national economic and social plan, as well as consistent with the demands of the labor market,” he said.
“This collaboration directly benefits the students, who will, in turn, reduce the problem of [service sector] labor shortages. It will also benefit investors who struggle with human resource redundancies, and indeed it will benefit the country’s competitiveness on the ASEAN and world stages, he added.
Another similar initiative, Phuket Rajabhat University is collaborating with at least 20 Phuket Tourist Association member hotels, to provide the institution’s tourism and foreign language students with not only practical skills but also paid on-the-job training and relevant hospitality experience.
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