With easing restrictions on foreign direct investment to attract strong businesses, we should prepare to supply skilled employees to the upcoming manufacturing industry which will create job opportunities in the country.
For example, the Yangon Region Government has permitted 58 factories including garments factories in the region after the new Myanmar Investment Law was enacted and the total number of garment factories has reached 377 in the region.
But, the weak point for the manufacturing industry is the shortage of skilled labour.
We are taking a pragmatic approach to produce more skilled workers in Myanmar who can meet the changing requirements of the labour market as the country is in need of skilled labour to compete with regional countries.
With the advantage of a large workforce, we can supply adequate labour with low-skill to the manufacturing industry, but skilled labourers are very rare to find.
To upgrade the skills of workers and to build up capacity, more technical and vocational schools have been opened.
The government is also striving to produce ASEAN level skilled workers. We are allowing the private sector to cooperate with the Union Government to produce more skilled workers.
The NSSA – National Skills Standard Authority has been formed on the PPP (Public, Private, Partnership) model with the Labor, Immigration and Population Ministry taking the lead.
We are now working to supervise, manage and establish skills standards according to priority areas; to register and provide accreditation to training departments, assessment and inspection departments including the private sector according to sectors; and to produce systems for inspection and accreditation in accordance with national level skills standard frameworks.
The Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population has set up skills development training centres and provided training to workers to enhance their technical capability.
According to the statistics up to April, 2018, the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population issued totaling 3022 Vocational Training Certificates including some 2930 Level-one skilled workers and some 92 Level-two skilled workers in accordance with the standard of the National Skills Standards Authority (NSSA).
Employers can also send their workers to the training centres of the ministry which can grant the certificates of International Skills Standards Authority-NSSA to workers needed to prove their skills to foreign and local investors. Under the 2013 Employment and Skill Development Law, NSSA has cooperated with local and international organizations to provide knowledge and skills for the local labour force.
A lack of skilled workers should not be one of the most troubling concerns of Myanmar and employers should not face an uphill battle in the coming years to recruit and retain workers.