ASEAN has plans to move to a free regional labour market much like the European Union starting in 2015.
In 2015 an initial test will be run by freeing up selected professions and allowing them to move between countries to work.
As part of its policy of a single internal market the EU has allowed free movement of workers between member states (See Wikipedia).
It is only natural that problems will be encountered as labour markets are liberalized.
Free ASEAN labour markets may create labour shortages in Thailand (Read previous article).
Freeing up lower paid markets for manual labour may raise the common problem of migrant labour exploitation if laws are not put in place to protect these poor and vulnerable people (Read article #1, #2 and #3).
In a previous Bangkok Post article, the small rich country of Singapore has also hinted that allowing huge flows of workers into their country would not be feasible.
Even with free labour markets in Europe, other factors such as language, new loans and family adjustment limit labor mobility (See Wikipedia).
The photo on the right below is of workers doing different manual labour (bluecollar work) on pipes under the street. This is the sort of dirty and dangerous job that has often been consigned to migrant labourers from other countries.
Under the new ASEAN Free Labour Markets so-called "white-collar" work in professions such as medicine, dentistry, nursing, engineering, architecture and accounting will be the first areas of the labour market to be freed up.
Click button to listen to ASEAN Free Labour Market and rightclick to download
Thais 'will struggle in jobs market' ASEAN LABOUR CONTROLS TO EASE IN 2015 by Penchan Charoensuthipan
Thailand's labour development policy is failing to equip workers with the skills they need for a free labour market in Southeast Asia over the next five years, academics say
Under the ASEAN Economic Community framework, ASEAN members have agreed to pilot a free labour market plan by allowing specialists and professionals in seven fields - medicine, dentistry, nursing, engineering, architecture, natural resources and geographical exploration, and accounting - to work anywhere they like across the region in 2015.
The free labour market may eventually expand to cover all fields and levels of jobs.
Thai workers will enjoy more opportunities to work abroad, but they will face tougher competition as well.
Thai workers would need better English skills, Mr Santi [Bamrungkunakorn, director of the Office of Skill Standards and Testing Development. said. The government should launch measures to sharpen their skills and even "put pressure on them to learn English," he said.
Few Thais would be able to compete in an ASEAN labour market now, partly because educational standards among Thai students are lacking, said Chumpol Pornprapa of the national commission of labour development and career training coordination under the Department of Skill Development...
...The International Institute of Management Development in Switzerland placed Thailand at 47th out of 57 countries in a survey last year of educational efficiency, Mr Chumpol said
Pimonwan Mahatchariyawong, of the Kasikorn Research Centre, said she was worried by the slow pace of Thai labour development.
To pave the way for a free labour market, ASEAN members must set the same working standards for professionals in the seven areas and criteria to select those qualified to take part
Mr Chumpol said few Thai professionals may be attracted at first because they are still in demand in their own country.
Thai doctors from state hospitals may be more interested, because pay rates here are low compared with elsewhere in the region, said Medical Council president Somsak Lohlekha.
Foreign doctors may also face language barriers if they want to work in Thailand, he said.
(Source: Bangkok Post, Thais 'will struggle in jobs market' ASEAN LABOUR CONTROLS TO EASE IN 2015, 10/10/2010, Penchan Charoensuthipan, link)
pilot - a small test of a new idea or product or idea before introducing it everywhere
EU - European Union, the economic and political union of 27 member countries in Europe (See Wikipedia)
free up - make free, remove restrictions
profession - a job needing special skills and training, often with higher social status (examples: lawyer, doctor, accountant, etc) ผู้เชี่ยวชาญในวิชาชีพ
internal market - the European Union's policy of free movement of goods, capital, services, and people in one unified European market (See Wikipedia)
free movement of workers - when workers are free to move between regions and countries to work, no laws or regulations restrict them (See Wikipedia and website)
liberalize - remove restrictions and limitations (Same as "free up" above)
migrant labour - workers who move to a different region or country to work and live
exploitation - take advantage and harm another person for your personal gain
hinted - said indirectly, not officially
feasible - possible to do
labour mobility - the ability to move to different areas to work or to different kinds of jobs to work (See Wikipedia)
manual - working with your hands and your body (examples: lifting and carrying heavy things, assembling machines in a factory) ซึ่งใช้มือทำ, ซึ่งใช้แรงกาย, ซึ่งใช้แรงงาน
blue-collar - people who manual work in factories or at outside at places like construction sites or oil refineries คนทำงานที่ใช้แรง
white-collar - people who work in offices คนทำงานสำนักงาน
architecture - the activity of designing and constructing buildings, houses, and other structures (See Wikipedia) สถาปัตยกรรม
accounting - the work of keeping and checking financial records for a company or organization (See Wikipedia) การบัญชี
struggle - a very difficult task that you can do only by making a great effort ความพยายาม
development - the gradual growth and formation of something
policy - a set of plans and ideas used for making decisions in politics and economics and other areas นโยบาย (See Wikipedia)
equip - to provide someone with things they need to do a job (equipment, machines, ideas, skills, etc)
skills - a type of work or task requiring special training and knowledge ทักษะ ความสามารถเฉพาะทาง
academics - professors and lecturers at universities and colleges
Asean Economic Community (AEC) - a plan for the econmic integration of ASEAN states by 2015 with a gradual elimination of barriers to trade and investment in the region (See introduction and description [scroll down])
framework - a system of rules, ideas or beliefs that is used to plan or decide something ขอบข่ายงาน, โครงร่าง
natural - found in nature (not made in a factory by humans) ตามธรรมชาติ
natural resources - things such as coal, trees and oil that exist in nature and can be used by people ทรัพยากร
exploration - when you search for something, finding out and discovering facts about something การสำรวจ, การค้นหา
eventually - at the end of a period of time or at the end of a process ในที่สุด
expand - to become larger ขายตัวออกไป
field - an area of special knowledge or skill (example: doctors master the field of medicine)
opportunities - situations in which it is possible to do what you want or need to do
launch - to start something เปิดโครงการ, เริ่มต้น, เริ่มทำ
measures - actions that are intended to achieve or deal with something มาตราการ
pressure - trying to force someone to do something
standards - an acceptable level of quality or achievement มาตรฐาน
lacking - to not have something
national - for the whole country
commission - a group of people who have been formally chosen to discover information about a problem or examine the reasons why the problem exists คณะกรรมการ, คณะกรรมาธิการ
career - the job or long series of related jobs that you do and plan to do during your life (See Wikipedia and Bangkok Post article about becoming a chef as a career) (See glossary)
training - to teach people how to do an activity or job การฝึกฝน
coordination - the act of making all the people involved in a plan or activity work together in an organised way การประสานกัน
efficiency - waste little time, energy and resources in doing a task (minimize time, energy and resources in performing a task) (See glossary) การทำงานอย่างมีประสิทธิภาพ คุ้มค่าเวลาและใช้พลังงานหรือต้นทุนในการผลิตน้อย เพื่อให้ได้ผลผลิตมาก
efficiency - doing a task well without wasting time, money, resources
pace - the speed at which something happens ท่างทำนอง ย่างก้าว จังหวะ ที่สิ่งต่างๆ ดำเนินไป (See glossary)
To pave the way for... - to create a situation making Y possible
criteria - rules and standards used for making decisions and judgements บรรทัดฐาน (See glossary)
in demand - people need and desire to buy the goods and services your produce
state - government รัฐ
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