Thai Government Urged To Promote Reforms For Working Aging Citizens

Thailand workers
Labourers work on the giant bronze statues of former Thai Kings at Ratchapakdi Park in Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan province, Thailand, August 5, 2015. (Photo: REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha/File Photo)

Analysts are calling on the Thai government to implement reforms for the aged in the country's workforce for the purpose of sustainable economic growth. Thailand has shown high aging numbers of the last few years and experts are getting concerned.

According to an in-depth analysis by the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), the country should act on the largely aging population as soon as possible to avoid an economic growth decline of around 0.8 percent on a yearly basis.

"We need new policies to use their skills and experiences when the number of young people is diminishing," TDRI president, Dr. Somkiat Tangkitvanich, noted, adding that today's society is stronger and more productive than ever.

Songkiat further explained that Thailand should transition to a longevity society, which means there should be initiatives to allow for older people in the workforce. To ensure that the aging workgroup is protected, there should be safety measures implemented.

Furthermore, the TDRI recommended adopting new policies for upskilling aging workers so they can contribute the same skills and knowledge that younger workers provide. The aspects around upskilling regulations include more training around robotics, artificial intelligence, data analysis, and automation.

For Somkiat, business organizations and the government should work together to develop plans that will curb the negative impact of a fast-aging Thai community.

TDRI researchers also reiterated that active aging should be encouraged in the workforce. Under this initiative, analysts are expecting to see safer infrastructure and transportation to cater to the needs of older working communities.

Insurance systems are also recommended for the elderly in a bid to help them save up for retirement. Green spaces should be promoted for all working groups, research groups recommended.

Thailand has been improving its healthcare sector over the past few decades. However, there is still a need to put confidence in aging workers who want to contribute to economic growth.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said he believes that the future is bright for Thai workers. This could be true since the latest data revealed that the unemployment rate in Thailand is currently below one percent.

The Thai Ministry of Labor has initiated upskilling programs for workers to further upgrade their skills as the global market transitions to a more digital and technology-based system.

However, the question about older but skilled workers being welcomed into the workforce remains unanswered. The government has yet to make an official statement regarding calls for extending opportunities for aging individuals who are interested in working and willing to adopt the technology.

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