The initiative promotes technology proficiency, careers in technology and entrepreneurship among Thai youth to accelerate Thailand’s Digital Economy
Mr. Nakorn Silpa-Archa (second from right), Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour; together with Mr. Somsak Mukdavannakorn (second from left), Public Sector Director, Microsoft Thailand; Ms. Supahrat Juramongkol (far left), Community Affairs Manager, Microsoft Thailand; and Srisak Thaiarry, Executive Director, National Council for Child and Youth Development (NCYD) at the Microsoft YouthSpark LIVE event which focused on technology proficiency for employment, careers in technology and entrepreneurship.
BANGKOK, 6 May 2015 – To promote greater youth employability, workforce development and entrepreneurship, Microsoft (Thailand) Limited recently brought together more than 120 Thai youth aged 17 to 25 to its very first YouthSpark LIVE event. The initiative is in line with the government’s Digital Economy strategy, under the pillars of Digital Economy Promotion and Digital Society, to create more digital entrepreneurs and encourage digital literacy respectively.
The Microsoft YouthSpark LIVE event, organized in collaboration with the National Council for Child and Youth Development (NCYD), helped local youth plan their career goals and future by identifying the skills they need, understand how technology can enable them and accelerate their plans, and be connected to programs that will help them attain their goals.
According to The Deloitte Millennial Survey, millennials (those born in 1983 or later) will make up 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025. The same survey also highlighted how millennials view unemployment as the top challenge facing society in the next five to ten years. To this end, YouthSpark LIVE focuses on three major goals:
- Employment: Technology proficiency and preparation for all jobs
In today’s digital age, nearly all jobs require a basic level of technology skills in order to complete various tasks. From online job applications to timecards, to email and web-based research, participants were guided through the YouthSpark resources that could help them receive training, and acquire the skills needed to get ahead.
- Careers in Technology: Creating your future with computer science
Computer science is the foundation for much of today’s innovation, and many new jobs are being created for people with skills in this field. It involves creativity, problem-solving, programming, the Internet, data, and thinking about the impact of technology in communities. Participants explored the breadth of career options available to them when equipped with computer science skills.
- Entrepreneurship: Create, build and grow a business
Inspired by local success stories at the event, participants were encouraged to explore entrepreneurship as a career option for the future. Participants were guided to understand the specific skills and knowledge required to start and run a successful business as well as to utilize the resources available through YouthSpark to realize their entrepreneurial aspiration.
Over the course of two days, participants of the YouthSpark LIVE event worked on their respective YouthSpark Action Plans where they identified their goals for the future, skills and resources needed, and next steps to realize these plans – with support from Microsoft employees and community leaders. They also had the opportunity to hear and discuss what like-minded peers are striving towards as well as receive feedback on their ideas.
Participants of YouthSpark LIVE also had the opportunity to learn from the experiences of successful local entrepreneurs such as Dr. Titipong Chai-ongkarn, owner of the largest chicken and fish farm in Chiangrai, Mr. Pichai Sodsai, founder of Clickable Co. Ltd., and a member of Team SkeeK who won the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2010 Global Software Design Competition; and do an Hour of Code, led by Mr. Patraporn Leelaprachakul, a member of the team behind the Wheel-Go-Round application for the wheelchair-bound, as well as Mr. Pattana Sittisombat, Chairperson of the Committee for Economic Area Project of 10 Chambers of Commerce in the Northern Region.
Nakorn Silpa-Archa, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, said at the event, “The YouthSpark LIVE initiative encourages local youth to plan their future through trainings led by various industry experts. The youth can adequately prepare themselves for their future careers and learn to be entrepreneurs from successful industry figures. The youth also have the opportunity to learn coding skills which are relevant and essential in today’s labour market. The initiative promotes the use of technology to develop the country as Thailand enters the Digital Economy era. To effectively achieve the Digital Economy, it is crucial that employees and workers today have the skills and familiarity to use technology as Thailand enters the AEC at the end of this year.”
Somsak Mukdavannakorn, Public Sector Director, Microsoft (Thailand) Limited, said, “Today’s Thai youth will need to compete with over 600 million people collectively in ASEAN with the advent of the AEC. YouthSpark LIVE brings to life Microsoft and NCYD’s shared vision to empower Thai youth to create a better future for themselves and society at large. Through Microsoft YouthSpark, we enable young Thais to seize opportunities, foster the culture of innovation and empower them to also make a difference to society. By providing access to resources, training and guidance, we can help improve digital literacy and cultivate the growth of digital entrepreneurs, which are key components to the government’s Digital Economy strategy.”
Srisak Thaiarry, Executive Director of the National Council for Child and Youth Development, said, “Youth unemployment is a serious concern facing today’s society and Thailand is no exception. Our partnership with Microsoft Thailand to initiate employment, career development and entrepreneurship in technology will empower Thai youth to plan ahead, utilize available resources and equip themselves with relevant skills for better job opportunities. The youth of today, when placed in an innovative environment, can thrive and have a profound effect on the marketplace and workplace.”
Microsoft YouthSpark is a global initiative committed to helping young people worldwide create and seize opportunity. The program’s approach is to empower youth by helping transform education and expand digital inclusion; to unleash future innovators by giving youth the inspiration and tools to imagine new opportunities; and to help youth realize new opportunities of employability and entrepreneurship. At the close of its second year Microsoft YouthSpark has created new opportunities for more than 227 million young people in over 100 countries around the world. In Thailand, Microsoft has worked with government, businesses and nonprofits serving youth to equip more than 16,000 Thai youths aged 16-30 with ICT skills.
More information and training resources are available at www.microsoft.com/youthsparkhub and http://www.microsoft.com/about/corporatecitizenship/en-us/youthspark/youthsparkhub/programs/yslive/