Bridging the digital skills gap in Thailand – Samart Skills Program Launch October 5, 2022

Thailand is well-positioned to benefit from digital transformation which can unlock significant benefits such as increased productivity and high-quality jobs. The European Center for Digital Competitiveness ranked Thailand as the second most digital competitive country in the East Asia and the Pacific region, highlighting a significant progress in the mindset towards digitization. There are also supportive policies to enhance digital adoption such as the national “Thailand 4.0” strategy. Thailand’s economic opportunity from digital transformation is significant – AlphaBeta estimates that by 2030, digital technologies could support up to THB2.5 trillion (USD79.5 billion) of annual economic impact within the country. However, there are challenges hindering the capture of this digital potential, including the country’s gap in its digital skills availability. For example, only 55% of workers in Thailand are literate in the required digital skills for future work (such as computer skills, basic coding and digital reading), relatively lower than countries in the region. Risks would also remain if the digital skilling needs of future job seekers, students, and teachers are not addressed. Initiatives by public and private sector stakeholders are required to bridge this gap and to bring Thailand into its digital future.

To enhance the availability of digital skills in the country, Google Thailand officially launched the Samart Skills program on 5 October 2022 through an event that was attended by over 100 participants from government agencies, companies, and media outlets. The program aims to upskill digital talent by providing individuals in Thailand access to online courses on digital skills, such as IT support and data analytics, and awards participants with certification at the end of their course. To contextualise the importance of such initiatives, Archawat Chareonsilp, Senior Advisor at AlphaBeta, shared insights from our recent report “Unlocking Thailand’s Digital Potential: The Economic Opportunities of Digital Transformation and Google’s Contribution”, including trends on Thailand’s digital skills gap. This was followed by a panel with speakers from the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation, as well as the Office of the Vocational Education Commission.

Source: CIO World Business (2022), Available at: https://www.cioworldbusiness.com/mdes-samart-skills/

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