Labour shortage in Thai auto industry

Construction News

The shortage of unskilled labour in the automotive sector is reaching a critical level as the industry will need 250,000 more workers over the next three years to serve the national growth target, Wallop Tiasiri, director of the Thailand Automotive Institute, says.

“Wages of unskilled labour in the automotive sector are now soaring to a record at 400 baht per day, compared with 300 baht last year, while the minimum wage in Bangkok, the country’s highest, is 200 baht a day,” said Mr Wallop.

With the value of the automotive industry increasing, and eco-car production to be stepped up substantially next year, demand for labour is high. Other industries will experience a knock-on effect because automotive jobs will be more popular with workers than jobs in other sectors. Out of the total demand for labour in the automotive sector, 50 percent is unskilled labour, 30 percent office workers and 20 percent technicians.

The heaviest impact is forecast in the auto parts sector, which requires a large number of additional workers.

Within two to three years, vehicle production in Thailand is expected to rise by as many as 800,000 units from about 1.2 million this year. This will require an additional 180,000 general labourers, 50,000 technicians and 20,000 office workers. 

A 15-billion-baht eco-car plant by Mitsubishi is expected to produce 200,000 units within five years starting from 2012, with 80 percent exported.

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