The Labour Ministry is preparing to recruit Thais to fill more than 400,000 jobs left vacant by migrant workers who returned home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin said imports of migrant workers were suspended in March last year when the pandemic worsened, resulting in labour shortages in several industries.
A survey in May this year showed more than 400,000 migrant workers are needed, he said.
He has ordered the Department of Employment (DoE) to survey employment demands among business operators who want to hire Thais as substitutes for migrant workers.
A total of 112,759 Thais have registered for jobs with the department.
It would help ease labour shortages and unemployment if this group of job seekers can fill job openings, Mr Chomklin said.
According to the minister, there are strong demands for both Thai and migrant workers in several industries including apparel, canned food and electronics.
Pairoj Chotikasatien, the DoE director-general, said provincial employment offices nationwide are making arrangements to help recruit Thai workers, including surveying anew employment supply and demand.
He said the department is considering job fairs to boost opportunities for job seekers and employers, and speeding up the recruitment process with online job interviews.
Labour officials will also coordinate the movement of workers if they have to travel across provinces to work, he said.
The DoE chief also urged job seekers to register for job opportunities with the department at its website which provides job matching services for both employers and job seekers.
According to the association of outsourcing agencies, more than 800,000 jobs need to be filled.
Real estate, construction, industrial plants and agricultural sectors have been hit hard by labour shortages.
Earlier this week, the DoE agreed to ask the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration to allow imports of migrant workers under a memorandum of understanding system.
In an initial phase, between 50,000-80,000 workers from neighbouring countries would be allowed to return under strict COVID-19 restrictions, including mandatory quarantine.