Thailand should adopt a consistent and a long-term policy to handle migrant workers to make sure that the country’s economy and workforce benefit substantially, according to industry experts in Thailand.
Yongyuth Chalamwong, Director of Labour Development, TDRI (Thailand Development Research Institute), said at a seminar at the Faculty of Economics of Thammasat University on 13 November that their country was neither serious nor straightforward in its approach to managing migrant workers.
Speaking at a seminar, Migrant Workers: Help or Hinder?, he was quoted by The Nation as saying that their country has an issue with policy and their policy towards migrant workers was inconsistent.
Yongyuth said Thailand has benefitted due to the migration of workers as the number of workers in the market have increased. He said that Thailand was having a problem with regard to a major change as its population is ageing. The Southeast Asian nation is facing a shortage of workforce as the numbers of people of working age have reduced and also because there are certain jobs that its nationals were are not interested in joining, he said.
Suchart Jantara-nakratch, deputy chairman for labour issues at the FTI (Federation of Thai Industries), said that employing migrant workers by the private sector is not due to lower costs of labour, but an issue of necessity, which was an outcome of worker shortages.
He added that each worker, who costs more than Bt20,000 to hire, is eligible for the same benefits as Thai workers such as social security, VAT and overtime payment.
He also felt that migrant employees were being hired as they, in certain cases, do work that normal Thai nationals are not interested in doing, and are therefore essential for private companies to continue to operate.
Suchart felt that the Thai workers’ productivity was quite low compared to other countries in their region like China.
He said that Thailand should welcome these migrant workers to enter the country based on the level of requirement and actual demand growth due to the expansion of both the industrial and service sectors and also the entire economy’s development.
He was of the view that laws and rules should enable Thai employers to import migrant workers and it was important to pre-empt brokers and agents who bring them in illegally.
According to Suchart, the FTI wants the government to throw open 10 job categories, now barred, for migrants.
If you are looking to migrate to Thailand, get in touch with Y-Axis, a leading company for immigration services, to apply for a visa.