The image of TVET may be understood as the sum of attitudes, associations and feelings about nonacademic vocational education and training which people in a cultural group implicitly or explicitly communicate among each other and which influence the willingness of individuals involved to invest in TVET. The current challenges in the employment and training sector shows that there is a need to enhance the good image of TVET programs, TVET Schools and Institutions and as whole to communicate the positive effect of TVET to the young people’s employment and the parent’s investment.
This is the major aim of this year’s In-Country Program and National Seminar in the Kingdom of Thailand, which was held from November 26-30, 2018 at the Songkhla Vocational College, Songkhla Province, Thailand. This was participated by 55 administrators, teachers and TVET personnel coming from 23 institutions from all over the country.
Overall supervision was facilitated by Dr. Ramhari Lamichhane, CPSC Director General and Dr. Suthep Chittayawong, the Secretary General of the Office of the Vocational Education Commission (OVEC). Ms. Therese Tan-Lee, CPSC’s Faculty Specialist, was the overall program coordinator and resource person and she was assisted by the local counterpart in Thailand, Dr. Pongchit Chitapong, the Director of External and Outreach Section of OVEC, as his capacity as the local coordinator. During the opening ceremony, some notable guests attended including the Deputy Secretary General of Vocational Education Commission, Dr. Prachakhom Chantharachit and the Deputy Governor of Songkhla Province, Mr. Satchapak Kan.
The program was organized to provide the participants the platforms to recognize the vital role of TVET programs and TVET institutions in the socio-economic development of the country. The lectures were also designed to enable them to respond successfully to the needs of the community in particular with skills development, technology transfer, value chain, life skills, etc. with the overall aim to enhance the TVET image as a whole. They were also able to recognize the importance of Communication for Development (C4D) strategy in reforming the TVET programs image to the stakeholders, community, and all sectors of economy.
During the 5-day program and workshop, the participants were able to verbalize and analyze the problems regarding the poor image and unattractiveness of TVET as a whole and provide possible way forward. In addition, they prepared a marketing plan for enhancing image of TVET programs based on the output of Workshop 1 and integrate the 7Ps of Marketing, as well as the BCM (Brand Concept Management) Plan and the C4D Strategy Plan for Image Building.
National Seminar Aims to Provide Platforms to Communicate TVET’s benefits to the Stakeholders
To further solicit inputs and ideas from the stakeholders, a national seminar entitled the “Image of TVET in the Perspective of Stakeholders” targets to recognize the expectations of the potential students of TVET Institute prior attending the program and respond from the industries’ needs and requirements in the capacity development and training of the skilled workforce. The outputs generated by the seminar will be used as inputs in developing marketing, image building, branding and C4D strategy plan of the TVET Institutes in Thailand. They are expected to come up with a relevant communication for development strategy plan to ensure the longer term effect in building positive image of TVET Institutes. Overall, a total of 120 participants attended the national seminar.
Representatives from the industries namely Mr. Rungroj Tuntivechapikul, the Vice President of Corporate HR at Betagro Group and Mr. Athivith Toemlap, Head of the Sustainable Educational Development at Minor International Business Group, were tapped as local resource persons for this seminar and shared the industry’s perspective on TVET image building.
In addition to the classroom lectures, study visits to several local companies like the Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production, Ltd and Chotiwat Manufacturing Co., Ltd., both located in nearby city of Hat Yai, was visited by the participants in the hopes of understanding the industry’s perspective on image building.