Laos frets over labour shortage
- Published: 21/02/2013 at 05:12 PM
- Online news:
Officials in Laos are concerned about a possible future labour shortage as workers cross the border to search for better paid jobs in Thailand.
About 32,000 workers from Champassak province in southwestern Laos left to work in Thailand last year.
The trend has continued to rise, provincial officials told the Vientiane Times, with most of the Laotians who cross the border finding work at construction sites or factories.
Neighbouring Saravan province had the same problem, as about 15,000 workers migrated to northeastern Thailand last year.
Saravan has a population of 64,000 and Champassak has 600,000 inhabitants.
Onsa Vongsamphan, a Labour and Social Welfare Department official in Champassak, said the province needed to address this issue, as it will require workers for rubber plantations in the near future.
"In the next few years, the province will need thousands of workers to tap rubber when hundreds of hectares of rubber here are ready for harvesting," he said.
Some areas of the province are already beginning to tap but there are sufficient local workers to meet the requirements of the companies that own the plantations.
"The provincial authorities, especially in the labour and social welfare sector, will try to encourage Lao nationals working in Thailand to return and take up jobs here to help with the development of their province and hometown," he addded.
Sopha Khayphithoun, chief of the labour management section in Champassak, said some sectors such as rice farming had already felt the pinch from a labour shortage.
Champassak and Saravan border Ubon Ratchathani province in Thailand.