Adapting to COVID-19 Crisis: Closing the skills gap

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COVID-19 situation affects not only the world’s economy but also the educational and working system. It is the time when we have to improve our skills. COVID-19 affects not only almost all industries in all countries in the world, but also the society, organization, and people’s way of life. The educational and working system has to adapt to this crisis.

Thammasat University also has a system supporting this situation. However, “online learning” and “work from home” should not be the only option for this crisis. Every organization should adopt this learning and working model and practice them as they become “the norm” that everyone is used to. It is a time when we need to transform the educational and working system and regard it as a “national issue”. It is obvious that a flexible learning and working will reduce the “skill gap” problem. In another point, it will also help the “unemployment” and “labor shortage” problem due to the lack of “future skills” to cope with the changes.

Currently, every industry faces skill shortages, especially two skills which are technology and social and emotional skill. There are countries that are aware of this problem and join the reskilling revolution platform in order to set the direction for future skills in the next 10 years. The platform is the result of brainstorming to close the skill gap and make flexible working in order to cope with the changes. In order to improve technological skill, social and emotional skill, support future skill innovation, and have insights to predict the labor market in the future, it requires the transformation of the educational system and training with the collaboration of educational institutions, business and industrial sector.

Obviously, it is a big step for universities. “Thammasat” also initiates the project developing the labor force in the future for the country. The focus will be on 5 main career groups, including accountant, financier, marketing, technologist/programmer, entrepreneur/startup business. There is also keen intent to keep partnering with educational institutions and the business sector that want to work on this issue for the country.