Thais to hire 'language coordinators' to help with migrants

Thais to hire 'language coordinators' to help with migrants

Highland people without Thai citizenship will be allowed to work in all types of jobs while migrants from Burma, Laos and Cambodia migrants will be given a chance to apply for jobs as language coordinators in a shake-up of labour rules.

Permanent secretary for labour ML Puntrik Smiti said a Labour Ministry committee has agreed in principle that highland people who still have no citizenship will be allowed to work in any kind of work, depending on their knowledge and skills.

She said the Employment Department will send a draft PM’s Office announcement on the changes to the committee for consideration. The matter then will be forwarded to the cabinet for approval and the Council of State for deliberation.

ML Puntrik also said the committee has agreed in principle that Burmese, Lao and Cambodian migrants can apply for jobs as “language coordinators” at private companies. A company which has 100 workers can employ one migrant as a language coordinator. However, companies that seek to recruit language coordinators must give priority to Thai applicants first. The migrants would be allowed to apply for the jobs only if there are no Thai applicants, she said.

This would apply to migrants who have yet to pass a nationality verification process and hold temporary work permits, known as pink cards, and migrants who work in Thailand under pacts which Thailand has made with those countries, she said.

Government agencies and state enterprises will be allowed to employ a language coordinator as they see fit, ML Puntrik said, adding the department will hold training courses for migrant workers who want to become language coordinators.

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Demand for migrants as language coordinators has increased.

They are needed to help Thai staff communicate with migrant workers who seek medical services at hospitals, and handle their complaints. However, jobs as translators, a different job description, are limited only to Thais.

Arak Prommanee, the department’s director-general, said removing the restrictions on highlanders’ job opportunities will help boost the labour sector.

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