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Council of Engineers Wants Foreigners Banned from Occupation in Thailand

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BANGKOK – Thailand’s Council of Engineers is urging the Labour Ministry to keep civil engineering as one of the occupations reserved for Thai nationals, saying foreigners should only be granted permission to work when absolutely necessary.

Amorn Pimanmas, the council’s secretary-general, said the body disagrees with the proposed delisting of civil engineering from the reserved professions based on public safety and concerns over professional standards.

The profession is governed by a 1999 law on engineers, according to Prof Amorn. Under the law, civil engineers must be certified by the council and they are required to observe a strict code of conduct.

However, he said the government can allow foreigners to work in Thailand if that is required for the transfer of technological know-how or due to a shortage of specialists that may hinder national development if not addressed.

He noted that foreigners who seek work as civil engineers under such conditions should also sit tests and obtain licences from the council first to ensure compliance with the laws and standards.

The council’s view follows the Labour Ministry’s plan to delist 10 groups of professionals including civil engineers and architects from occupations reserved for Thais.

Under the current list, foreign nationals are banned from working in 39 occupations under a 1979 royal decree.

The revised list is expected to include traditional massage.

Once approved, it will be announced in the Royal Gazette and is expected to take effect on July 1.

By Penchan Charoensuthipan
The Bangkok Post

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