CMDF rolls out COVID-19 supportive grants, in worker training and employment

Wednesday 09 December 2020 09:40

The Capital Market Development Fund (CMDF)'s Board approved grant worth THB 200 million for the Thai capital market business operators to strengthen capabilities impacted by COVID-19 threat. The grant is aimed at 1) hiring new graduates 2) upskilling workforce in response to the changing need of investors.

CMDF Chairman Chaiwat Wibulswasdi said "The COVID-19 outbreak has taken a toll on all sectors globally and the Thai capital market is no exception. Although the Thai capital market has been resilient and manages to cope with the unprecedented crisis to a certain extent, we would like to ensure the substantial and sustainable growth of the Thai securities and asset management companies once the economy bounces back. As a result, the CMDF Board approved grant worth THB 200 million, divided into two parts: The first part is the allowance to support hiring new graduates, aiming at creating jobs that will in turn drive the country's economy and ensuring the industry has continuous supplies of the qualified professionals. The second part is the training subsidy to upskill workforce. We believe these grants will help strengthen the Thai capital market on the long-term basis, which will yield benefits to the capital market, the economy, investors, and public.

CMDF President Chanant Charnchainarong said "We have been working with the Federation of Thai Capital Market Organizations (FETCO), the Association of Thai Securities Companies (ASCO), Association of Investment Management Companies (AIMC) and other organizations in the capital market to design these subsidy packages. CMDF will give a maximum THB 180,000 of the employment expense allowance for each graduate for one year. Only the Class of 2020 graduates, with at least diploma degree, are eligible for this allowance. Among 64 companies taking part in this program, there are 35 securities firms, 19 asset management companies, and 10 futures trading and investment banking companies. We aim to hire 555 new graduates, or equivalent to 3.5% of the total workforces in the industry, far more than the historical average rate of 2% - 3%. The training subsidies will be for upskilling investment consultants or IC registered under ASCO and developing a 150-hour online learning curriculum for new graduates in the asset management industry.

ASCO Chairman Pichet Sithi-Amnuai said that this CMDF initiative will prevent the long-term structural issue from personnel shortage once the economy bounces back as the business operators faced in the 1997 financial crisis and 2008 global financial crisis. The upskilling project for investment consultants will ensure that the securities industry is ready for the evolving investors' needs while Thailand is approaching the aging society era. It is estimated that around 4,000 ICs will join the program.

AIMC Chairman Vasin Vanichvoranun said COVID-19 has disrupted learning behavior. Online learning is now accelerating under the current social distancing requirement. With the grant, AIMC will develop a compulsory online comprehensive orientation program for all new graduates to ensure they have skills and knowledge to work effectively in the asset management industry.

"CMDF will continue to work with all stakeholders in the capital market to explore further opportunities. We encourage grant-submissions from all parties on projects that are in line with CMDF's set objectives.," added Chanant.

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