The Labour Ministry has set a goal of sending 100,000 skilled workers overseas next year, Department of Employment director-general Pairoj Chotikasatien said on Thursday.
Mr Pairoj said this target reflects the policy of the new Labour Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, who wants to ramp up efforts for Thais working abroad.
The department plans to support Thai workers in seeking legal employment opportunities in foreign countries, Mr Pairoj said.
He said his agency will increase efforts in sending Thai workers to existing markets with a growing demand for labour, including countries such as Sweden, Finland, Israel, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, while seeking opportunities to expand to other countries.
Mr Pairoj said that the department also plans to export mostly skilled Thai workforce to these emerging markets interested in employing Thai labourers.
Some examples were nurses and wellness workers for Saudi Arabia, construction workers, service providers for airports and train stations, wellness business employees for Qatar, and farmers for Jordan and Portugal.
Mr Pairoj said New Zealand is interested in Thai workers for roles in service and agriculture as well as for positions like architects, dentists and nurses.
Meanwhile, Australia was looking forward to employing Thai chefs, especially those certified by the Department of Skill Development, he said.
For the next step, the department is looking forward to negotiating with countries regarding Thai workers' employment, said Mr Pairoj.
Talks will also need to be held, he said, with the Thai private sector to discuss legal concerns, including contracts and measures, and the exportation processes.
Mr Pairoj said Thais interested in working abroad can contact their provincial department offices and the Bangkok Employment Office for more information. They can contact the department through the 1506 hotline or visit doe.go.th/overseas for further information.