Microsoft Enters an MOU with Office of Vocational Education Commission to Provide Cloud Learning Platform, Preparing Workforce for the Era of Digital Economy and Society

 |   Pornravee Suramool

Initiative follows the ‘Pracharat’ Public-Private Collaboration Competitive Workforce’s policy on enhancing quality of vocational education

Orapong Thien-Ngern (2nd from right ), General Manager, Microsoft (Thailand) Limited has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Dr. Chaipreuk Sereerak (2nd from left), Secretary General, Office of Vocational Education Commission (OVEC), on behalf of the ‘Pracharat’ initiative for Competitive Workforce. Microsoft will provide OVEC with a cloud-hosted platform worth $3 millions (THB 105 millions) for digital learning and career opportunities for vocational students. General Dapong Ratanasuwan (3nd from left), Head of Government Team, Public-Private Collaborative Committee (E2: Competitive Workforce) presided over the MOU signing ceremony. Roongrote Rangsiyopash (3nd from right), Head of Private Sector Team, also witnessed the event.

Bangkok 19 September 2016 – Microsoft (Thailand) Limited has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the ‘Pracharat’ initiative for Competitive Workforce, led by the Office of Vocational Education Commission (OVEC), to provide the latter with a cloud-hosted platform for digital learning and career opportunities. Developed to enhance the quality of vocational graduates and better prepare them for future careers under the ‘Thailand 4.0’ strategy, the platform features over 2,500 online training courses along with channels that allow vocational students to discover the right jobs and reach out directly to businesses.

This remarkable five-year, $3 million (THB 105 million) partnership represents Microsoft’s first major contribution of cloud capacity in support of academic organizations in Thailand and Asia. Furthermore, it is testament to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s commitment to serve society with cloud technology under the “Public Cloud for Public Good” initiative – first announced for Thailand during his visit last May. At present, 23 million youths are able to develop skills and discover job opportunities on the cloud-based Microsoft YouthWorks platform, resulting in over 253,000 jobs created and enhanced skill development for 436,000 youths.

Dr. Chaipreuk Sereerak, Secretary General, Office of Vocational Education Commission, said “This partnership between Microsoft and the Office of Vocational Education Commission is under the umbrella of the ‘Pracharat’ Public-Private Collaboration program for Competitive Workforce, which aims to enhance the quality of vocational education in order to build a world-class workforce. Through this collaboration, OVEC personnel will gain access to technology and new knowledge just like the students. We believe the project will help drive the growth of Thailand’s economy in the long run.                                 

Orapong Thien-Ngern, General Manager, Microsoft (Thailand) Limited, said “This collaboration is part of Microsoft Corporation’s mission to grant $1 billion in cloud computing capacity to nonprofit organizations and the education sector around the world over the next three years. Through the cloud, every organization stands on equal footing in terms of access to information and learning resources, enabling every person and every organization in the world to achieve more through technology.

One of Microsoft’s key strategies is the empowerment of governments and academic institutions to create quality members of Thai society. Since Thailand today still experiences a shortage of quality vocational talents, Microsoft has made it a priority to supply the country with technologies that help students develop skills for their future careers and transform them into valuable assets in every industry. With the Microsoft YouthWorks platform, Microsoft is able to carry out this mission through partnerships with governments, international organizations, and nonprofit organizations across 18 countries worldwide – including Middle Eastern and African nations. Microsoft provides support in customizing the platform for the unique needs of each country, and over 23 million youths have taken advantage of the YouthWorks platform,” added Orapong 

Roongrote Rangsiyopash, Head of Private Sector Team, Public-Private Collaborative Committee (E2: Competitive Workforce), said “The mission to uplift the quality of vocational students is a great challenge for the E2: Competitive Workforce branch of the Public-Private Collaborative Committee. It is important for all stakeholders – including public and private sectors as well as civil society – to join forces in order to achieve this goal.

“The partnership with Microsoft, the world’s leading IT company with exceptional expertise in developing platforms for productivity and innovation in the new era, is an important step forward for this undertaking. With diverse online training courses that range in subject matter from IT, entrepreneurship, and professional development to job matching features, students can learn from anywhere, anytime they want. At the same time, businesses can use this platform as a tool to select qualified vocational students to fulfill their personnel requirements. The partnership forges a new path towards the improvement of vocational education and will help supply quality vocational talents in line with the national agenda in the near future.”

Founded as a channel dedicated to social contributions, Microsoft’s Philanthropies unit has pledged to develop $1 billion in cloud computing capacity to the 70,000 government and nonprofit organizations worldwide. Throughout the past 22 years in Thailand, Microsoft has utilized various technologies to bridge the education gap and provide everyone with equal opportunities to access said technologies. Microsoft Thailand has donated more than $2 million (THB 70 million) in software products to over 430* nonprofit organizations in the country. Furthermore, the company provides technology training for these organizations free of charge to empower them to be more productive in helping underprivileged people under their care.

*Information as of 25 May 2016