CP chief wants biz students in workforce at 18
Dhanin Chearavanont, the senior chairman of Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group, has suggested business students graduate from university at 18 instead of 22 years old so that they can join the workforce and help the country's economy by gaining experience earlier.
Speaking on the topic of "Challenges & Opportunities for the New Chapter of Education" during the two-day "World Education 2022" event organised by CP Group in Nakhon Ratchasima yesterday, Mr Dhanin emphasised that education in human resource development is of the utmost importance to ensure stability and wealth in the country.
University students, especially those studying business-related topics, need to focus more on real-world experience rather than spending four years in university, said the Thai billionaire.
He said students should have a chance to develop business skills, with friendly guidance and support from seniors and teachers.
He said CP Group has recognised the power of the young generation and offered support to develop young leaders among them. The group provides business training and financial support to allow young people to invest in their own businesses, he said.
"We believe in the power of the young generation. We need them to be leaders as fast as possible," he said. "[Young people] have the power to mobilise the economy."
"We are now facing a labour shortage, so why should we keep them in college for four years?" he said. "Learning in the classroom is not enough. Students need to work to empower their skills."
He noted that having a business at a young age can help develop skills and contribute to the country as a whole.
"For our group, we need people who are grateful for their homeland and prioritise their families," he said. "We don't see any benefit in working with people who are very smart and talented but don't feel gratitude."
Anek Laothamatas, Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation, said in a video message that the government has worked to reform the education system.
For example, it often holds talks with the private sector to gain input so colleges and universities can produce graduates that meet business requirements, he said.
He said the ministry has a sandbox project to help encourage students to study and work so they can simultaneously earn an income and develop their experience.
He said in his opinion that he supports Mr Dhanin's idea that college students should have real business experience.
Mr Anek said shortening the duration of university studies should be possible.
As for education, he said Thailand can export its knowledge, especially in the fields of culinary arts and hospitality, to many countries that want to learn more about Thai culture.
He said Saudi Arabia, for example, is one country that would like to transfer knowledge in those fields.