Authorities are planning to sharpen the skills of 8,500 potential workers next year to serve 12 targeted S-curve industries in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) that are short on highly skilled labour in advanced technology.
Thailand is struggling with a labour shortage as it adapts to digital disruptions, with the country unable to supply workers with qualifications that appeal to many companies.
"The government wants to develop and improve labour skills to better serve and match the targeted industries," said Kanit Sangsubhan, secretary-general of the EEC Office.
The industries emphasise innovations in high-tech industries including next-generation cars, robotics, medical technology as well as aviation and aerospace.
He said his office will work closely with state agencies and companies to produce well-trained workers as demand for labourers in the EEC will continue to increase to serve future investment projects.
Up to 475,668 workers will be needed over five years between 2019 and 2023, according to the office's estimate.
Officials expect demand for workers with bachelor's degrees and vocational certificates will account for 53% of total demand, leaving the rest to non-degree holders and workers trained under short courses.
The EEC Office is calling on the government to allocate 120 million baht in fiscal 2021 to support the EEC's labour development programme, with vocational students as the main target.
"The programme will be joined by 377 companies and 277 scholars," said Mr Kanit.
He expects the government will next year sign contracts on infrastructure development projects -- a 10.6-billion-baht maintenance, repair and overhaul scheme; and the third phase of Laem Chabang seaport worth 114 billion baht -- with private companies under the public private partnership.
Authorities earlier approved three key projects: a high-speed railway linking three airports (225 billion baht), U-tapao aviation city (290 billion baht) and the third phase of Map Ta Phut seaport (55.4 billion baht).
The government set an investment target worth 1.7 trillion baht, said Mr Kanit.