Ministry of Labour Joins Hands with Microsoft to Shift Thailand Away from Middle Income Trap through Increasing Income for Thais

 |   Thornthawat Thongnab

Gen. Sirichai Distakul (2nd roll, middle), Minister of Labour, M.L. Puntrik Smiti ( 2nd roll, 2nd from left) Permanent Secretary of the Labour Ministry, together with Orapong Thien-Ngern (2nd roll, 2nd from right), General Manager, Microsoft (Thailand) Limited, join forces for the launch of “M-Powered Thailand” – a one-stop online career development platform that incorporates all job-related information into one place, resonating government’s national 20 year development plan to achieve human resources development goal.

Bangkok, 3 February 2017 – The Ministry of Labour has joined forces with Microsoft (Thailand) Limited for the launch of “M-Powered Thailand” – a one-stop online career development platform that incorporates all job-related information into one place via integrations and links with the Smart Job website to match qualified job seekers with potential employers, plus online mentoring and e-learning services to develop a myriad of key professional skills. “M-Powered Thailand” will also host a comprehensive database of employment knowledge such as regulations, social security benefits and labour welfare, making it accessible to all Thai workforce. The main objective of launching this portal is to create equal opportunities for people of all groups and abilities and equip them with job skills in line with the Government’s ambition to drive Thailand past the middle income country trap, which in turn will raise national competitiveness in parallel with the national 20-year development plan, which seeks to strengthen Thailand’s workforce in the digitally-driven “Thailand 4.0” era.

“The Ministry of Labour has developed a 20-year development roadmap in line with Thailand’s 20-year development plan (2018 – 2038) as well as the Prime Minister’s aspirations[1] for the Thailand 4.0 era” Gen. Sirichai Distakul, Minister of Labour, announced. “Now that the world has changed, Thailand also faces a need to change – promptly and proactively. Our country has been grappling with the middle-income economy trap for many years. Since classical economic development models have proven to be inadequate in overcoming this challenge, it is time to turn to innovation as the driver of national income growth and a bridge that reduces income disparity. One of the key strategies that will elevate Thailand to fully-developed status in a reasonable period of time is to focus on human resources development.”

Thailand has been locked in the middle income trap for more than 50 years, the first phase of which (1957-1993) saw the country’s economy grow constantly at 7-8 percent annually. However, the following years (1994 to present day) saw economic growth stagnate at 3-4 percent per year. [2]

“One of the objectives in the 20-year national development roadmap (1957 – 1993) is to reduce income gap in society. The GDP of the bottom 40 percent of Thailand’s population has to increase by no less than 15 percent per year, while the portion of their capital asset ownership has to grow. The ratio of population under the poverty line should also fall to 7.4 [3]percent” added Gen. Sirichai

“To support the Pracharat competitive workforce collaboration as well as to develop qualified personnel who can utilize digital technology creatively and effectively in their careers, the Ministry of Labour is pleased to work with Microsoft to launch ”M-Powered Thailand.” The new online career centre will surely reveal previously untapped career and development opportunities for those seeking for jobs and skill consultation. This all-in-one online career solution is also linked with Smart Job, the Ministry’s employment website, which enables both new current users to easily search for job openings nationwide.” said M.L. Puntrik Smiti, Permanent Secretary of the Labour Ministry.

“To build upon Microsoft’s partnership with the Office of Vocational Education Commission, which saw Microsoft provide OVEC with a cloud-hosted platform for international standard digital learning and career opportunities, we have developed “M-Powered Thailand” to ensure that all Thai people of all group and abilities with equal access to learn the necessary skills for the digital era. The M-Powered Thailand platform will include curriculums ranging from basic digital literacy to access and use information efficiently and ethically to becoming digitally competent by international standards in the mobile-first, cloud-first era – a time when digital transformation is happening in our daily lives and serve as a connective tissue between job prospects, employers, and mentors who can offer valuable advice on career development,” said Orapong Thien-Ngern, General Manager, Microsoft (Thailand) Limited. “M-Powered Thailand is an important aspect of Microsoft’s commitment to contribute to society with cloud technology under the “Public Cloud for Public Good” pledge since 2014 as well as an indication of our support for the Ministry of Labour’s 20-year roadmap”. “Microsoft is a global leader in innovation and

technology. We believe ICT and computer technology skills can raise an individual’s value in the job market and elevate the overall quality of Thai workforce in this era of innovation-driven economies”. “With its constantly updated information repository and online learning courses, M-Powered Thailand will serve as an effective portal for both employers and employees.” added Orapong.

“This partnership does not only mirror the government’s policy in reducing inequality within the country and transforming Thailand into a developed nation. It will also elevate Thai people’s quality of life on the road to Thailand 4.0 in a steady, prosperous and sustainable manner,” M.L. Puntrik concluded.

“M-Powered Portal”, an online career development centre built in the cloud, is available in both Thai and English and can be accessed at


[1] รมว.แรงงานกำหนดกรอบ 4 ช่วง ยุทธศาสตร์ 20 ปี สู่ Brainpower

[2] แนวคิดเกี่ยวกับประเทศไทย 4.0 โดย ดร. สุวิทย์ เมษินทรีย์

[3] หน้า 32, ทิศทางและการพัฒนาประเทศตามนโยบายของรัฐบาล และแผนพัฒนาเศรษฐกิจและสังคมแห่งชาติ ฉบับที่ 12