Agencies speed up export of skilled Thai labor to Saudi Arabia

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BANGKOK (The Nation/Asia News Network): Two government agencies will work with a private company to recruit and train workers with advanced skills to secure them jobs in Saudi Arabia.

Phairoj Chotikasathian (pictured), director general of the Employment Department, said on Wednesday (May 11) his department would work with the Skills Development Department to train engineers and welders with advanced skills to work in Saudi Arabia.

The export of Thai labor to Saudi Arabia is accelerating after the ministry signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Arabia earlier and after Fahad Jalawi al Saud of Saudi Arabia visited and held discussions on sports, economic and social cooperation with Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan on Tuesday, Phairoj said.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Employment held a meeting with Mermaid Maritime Co Ltd to discuss preparations for the export of skilled workers to Saudi Arabia.

Phairoj said Labor Minister Suchart Chomklin attached importance to the export of skilled labor, especially to Saudi Arabia, after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha and Prawit, who oversees the Ministry of Labour, wanted concrete progress within three months.

State agencies will accelerate the export of skilled labor to Saudi Arabia. Phairoj said Tuesday’s meeting focused on exporting engineers and welders to work on oil rigs in the Middle Eastern nation.

Phairoj said Ovart Thongbormakood, Director of the Overseas Employment Administration Division, was instructed at the meeting to cooperate with the Trainers Development and Training Technology Office to invite the representative from Mermaid Maritime to visit a welding training center of the Zone 1 Skills Development Office in Samut. Prakhan province. The visit would convince Mermaid Maritime of the welding skills of Thai workers.

Phairoj added that Sibmuenchai Photisin, Inspector General of the Ministry of Labour, has been tasked with coordinating with the Department of Employment, Department of Skills Development and Mermaid Maritime to recruit and prepare Thai workers for jobs in Saudi Arabia.

The employment department will recruit workers for skills development to be trained and for Mermaid Maritime to hire and work in Saudi Arabia. Mermaid is a leading international subsea and offshore drilling services company for major oil and gas companies or their contractors.

“Those who want to work abroad can register at the overseas employment center of the Overseas Employment Administration Division,” Phairoj said.

“They must indicate the country where they want to work and the position they are looking for.”

Phairoj added that applicants must also indicate their level of English proficiency and work experience.

Interested Thai workers can also apply for overseas jobs at Zone 1-10 employment offices or their provincial employment offices.

So far, 1,794 workers – 1,205 men and 529 women – have applied for jobs in Saudi Arabia, Phairoj added.

A Mermaid Maritime executive said his company has big construction plans to support the oil and gas industries in Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries.

The executive said Mermaid had already hired Thai workers as welders to work for its offshore construction projects off Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries and the workers were paid a daily wage of about 3,000-4,000 THB.

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