Lasting Communities

Building the Skills of the Next Generation Workforce

Jan 26,2023

“Broadly speaking, critical thinking skills of Thai workers are, unfortunately, inadequate. This limits their capacity to make their own decisions in an unexpected event, without support from their boss, and puts them at a disadvantage compared with workers from other countries. If we could enhance their critical thinking and communication skills, they would be able to deliver a significantly better customer service experience” comments Pannida Pengpikul, speaking about the key skills needed for today’s workforce.

Ms. Pannida Pengpikul or Khun Ying, Talent & Culture Manager, Novotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20, one of Kenan’s hotel partners participating in the “Aspiring Hospitality Workers of Tomorrow” project, implemented by Kenan Foundation Asia and sponsored by Citi Foundation.  The project is building the 21st century, workplace, and financial life skills of low-income youth (18-24 years old) to help them gain quality employment and achieve long-term financial stability. In addition to training, the project includes an on-the-job, paid internship component that will enable participants to acquire valuable workplace experience within the hospitality sector. Kenan’s goal is to support the youth to obtain quality employment and achieve long-term financial stability. Khun Ying helped Kenan with the hospitality curriculum framework focused on improving the youth’s skills, particularly their 21st century skills (4C skills).

“It was a great pleasure [for me] to be kindly invited by Kenan to participate. We had a chance to observe a new way of organizing activities, for example, by building the team’s critical thinking skills through collaboration exercises. The participants can enjoy a hands-on workshop and learn to refine their presentation skills, which employers are always keen to see in today’s workplace, and build their hard skills in food and beverage, such as nutrition literacy, customer service, beverage recognition, table manner, customer greeting, etc. Furthermore, we had the honor to hear from an exceptional professor. This encounter enabled us to extend our business connections and facilitate the hotel to recruit interns and full-time employees, we will even arrange a field trip with the university in the future.”

Finally, Khun Ying shared her intention to apply the knowledge she had learned from the training to the hotel’s human resource development plan as the hotel should be prepared once the COVID situation stabilizes. This will focus on workforce management – to train employees to be multi-skilled and able to use technology, social media, and virtual training as innovation’s role in the development and coordination of the market is inalienable. Product and service transformation will also become transformative areas to meet changing customer demand which is increasingly online-focused. For example, there may be a need to improve the food ordering system, modernize the cuisine and tableware, and streamline services to offer a better service to the customer.

Building 21st century skills through hands-on learning helps employees acquire valuable workplace experience and obtain quality employment in the future. It is important for every employee to become a lifelong learner by keeping acquiring new skills and abilities. “A successful employee should be a continuous learner so that they can grow into a highly-skilled and up-to-date worker. Thus, we can achieve a better workplace that supports sustainable growth and career advancement.” Khun Ying said.

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