Consultant to Conduct Cost Analysis (CBA) of Skills Development for Migrant Workers for Employers in Thailand

International Organization for Migration

Established in 1951, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants.


Responsive and inclusive skills development is recognized as a means to increasing poverty reduction and enhanced protection for migrant workers and can improve productivity and job satisfaction for migrant workers. Skills development also optimizes the employability of migrants in labour markets in countries of origin and destination, contributing to sustainable development.

Advancing skills development for migrant workers contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, in particular the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 on quality education and SDG 8 on decent work and economic growth. The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) also recognizes the need to invest in skills development and facilitate mutual recognition of skills, qualifications and competencies (Objective 18). The Global Forum for Migration and Development (GFMD), the Regional Consultative Process on Overseas Employment and Contractual Labour for Countries of Origin in Asia (Colombo Process) and the Ministerial Consultation on Overseas Employment and Contractual Labour for Countries of Origin and Destination in Asia (Abu Dhabi Dialogue) also place a strong emphasis on skills development and qualification recognition for migrant workers.

Skills development for migrant workers in Thailand

As of March 2021, there are approximately 2 million documented migrant workers residing in Thailand primarily from Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and Myanmar (CLM)[1].

These include migrants who entered Thailand through the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), documented through national verification processes and border passes, as well as the ones registered with the Ministry of Labour during the three rounds of in-country registrations and renewals of work permits during the COVID-19 pandemic. Migrant workers in Thailand are mainly employed in lower-skilled occupations in the agriculture, fishing, seafood processing, construction, manufacturing, domestic work and the service industries.[2] As of March 2021, 45 per cent of documented migrant workers from CLM are women and 55 per cent are men.[3] Due to limitations of official data, statistics on the number of irregular migrants in Thailand remain as estimations. A 2019 report estimates that there are approximately 800,000 migrant workers residing in Thailand during 2018.[4]

The Royal Thai Government has taken positive steps towards recognizing the importance of skills development to the economy and labour force, most notably, the enactment of the Skills Development Promotion Act (B.E. 2545), which makes skills development opportunities available for many workers. To ensure that all employees gain opportunities to improve their skills, the law stipulates that any workplaces with 100 employees or more must arrange annual skills development programmes for at least 50 per cent of employees, including migrant workers. Any such workplaces that cannot arrange skills development programmes or meet the minimum proportion must pay contributions to the Skill Development Fund, which uses a tax deduction system to reimburse firms for part of the levy paid when training expenses are incurred to train their staff.

However, migrants workers still face various barriers in accessing and benefiting from existing skills development opportunities. Policies on migrant recruitment and employment still applies a protectionist approach to reserve semi-skilled positions and national skills development programs for Thai workers while migrant workers from CLM can mainly perform jobs classified as unskilled. Practically, according to a survey conducted by IOM Thailand in 2021, 62 per cent of surveyed migrants said they did not have enough time outside of work and 43 per cent were not aware of available training[5]. The same surveyed confirmed that skills development training attendance among migrant workers remained low, only 18 per cent of women and 14 per cent of men respondents said they had attended a skills training in the past; however, almost all

trained migrant workers (90 per cent) reported that skills development led to better work opportunities.

In addition, a 2017 study found that many women migrant workers receive little to no training before migrating, nor do they receive skills development opportunities once in countries of destination[6]. Moreover, another study by UN Women suggests that opportunities for skills training for women migrants was reported to depend on the “benevolence of the bosses” and that it is uncommon for employers to offer lower-skilled workers training opportunities that would allow them to transition into skilled positions[7]. An ILO study into the Thai construction sector also shows that women migrant workers in construction are often given lower-skilled, lower-wage functions such as cleaning, landscaping, and cooking; and were paid less even when performing the same work as men[8].

The key role of employers

The majority of migrant workers surveyed in 2021 were trained in technical skills by employers in Thailand[9]. For employers, skills development represents an investment in human capital that is aimed generating a return in better performance and increased productivity. It can also have positive impact on occupational health and safety, job satisfaction and retention of workers. Therefore, employers play a key role in development and delivery of skills development programmes for migrant workers, ensuring the training curricula is market-driven.

Employers in Thailand cite two key practical barriers to promoting skills development for migrant workers: first, employers lack information about training programmes that are available to migrant workers in Thailand as well as their roles and responsibilities to respect the rights and ensure the welfare of migrant workers. Second, migrant workers face barriers to accessing national skills development programmes funded by Thailand’s national budget, which is primarily limited to Thai nationals.

Direct support on technical and vocational and soft skills training for migrant workers is provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for migrant workers in border areas or special economic zones to promote the availability of skilled migrant workers for Thai employers as well as to enhance foreign relations with neighbouring countries. In addition, Thai employers and businesses can apply to different Government schemes to access support for skills development for their workforce, including migrant employees. For instance, they can request a tax deduction for the costs of skills training or a low-interest loan to provide technical and vocational skills training to their employees. In these cases, migrant workers indirectly receive support from the Government of Thailand to enhance their skills while working in Thailand.

The Poverty Reduction through Safe Migration, Skills Development and Enhanced Job Placement in Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Thailand (PROMISE) is a programme implemented by IOM and funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. PROMISE supports employers in Thailand to develop ad roll out trainings for migrant workers, including on both technical and vocational skills (including occupational safety and health), and soft skills (such as Thai language, cultural orientation, and labour rights and responsibilities). Through PROMISE, IOM has established a strong network of committed employers. This provides a foundation for building a more sustainable model in which key stakeholders – especially businesses and Government – continue and scale up their investment in migrant workers’ skills development.

However, the business case for continuous employer investment in skills development programmes for migrant workers is not clearly demonstrated due to a lack of coordinating body to collect and analyse data as well as to guide the standardization of skills development in Thailand. As 80 per cent of the businesses in Thailand are small and medium-size enterprises who often have limited resources to continually offer skills development opportunities to workers, the trainings are often ad-hoc, depending on the availability of external support.

In 2020, IOM conducted an impact assessment of skills development programmes on migrant workers under PROMISE. The study surveyed 277 migrant beneficiaries from CLM who were enrolled in skills development training programmes supported by PROMISE. The study found that skills development improves employment prospects for migrant workers; labour rights training leads to increased trust between migrant workers and their employers, and improved working conditions for migrant workers. While the benefit of skills development is evident for workers, the methodology for the quantification of the benefit of skills development is yet to be established to provide proof of concept for the private sector, especially on increase in productivity and retention.


Under PROMISE, IOM has been continuously engaging employers for their buy-in and financial support to deliver skills development trainings, to ensure that the skills obtained are market driven and will lead to improved employability of migrant workers. The objective of this consultancy is to develop a methodology to analyse the cost and the benefit for employers of investing in skills developing for migrant workers, demonstrating if such investments are worthwhile and what kind of support does the employer need to make such investment sustainable.

The primary output is to develop a user-friendly tool for employers in Thailand, who might not have a mechanism in tracking key performance indicators (KPI), to calculate the return of investment (ROI) for skills development programmes for migrant workers on a regularly basis to assess its effectiveness and efficiency.

The case studies shall serve to test the cost benefit analysis model and demonstrate how different KPI can be considered in different industries. Such assessments can demonstrate the business case for continuous and sustainable investment on skills development for migrant workers.


The Consultant will undertake the following responsibilities:

· Conduct a scoping study to systematically document evidence across a range of study designs that focus on evaluating skills development programmes for migrant workers.

· Develop a cost benefit analysis model for skills development programmes, focusing on the monetizing of benefits for employers, by developing a user-friendly formula to calculate ROI of skills development programmes of migrant workers for employers in Thailand. The calculation should include KPI that should be taken into account when determining the costs and benefits of the skills development programmes for migrant workers.

· Conduct at least three case studies from PROMISE programme interventions applying the cost-benefit analysis in key sectors that employ the majority of migrant workers in Thailand, including manufacturing, construction and hospitality.

· Develop a written report summarizing the formula, how it is applied to the three case studies, key findings from the case studies and recommendations.



Expected Output

1 July 2022

Beginning of the assignment

1 July 2022 to 15 August 2022

Desk review and interview of key stakeholders

15 August 2022

Submission of an inception report, not exceeding 20 pages.

15 August 2022 to 31 January 2023

Field work and data collection

28 February 2023

Submission of the following outputs:

· Final report including ROI formula and case studies, not exceeding 60 pages.

· Summary: key findings and recommendations, not exceeding 10 pages.



The selected candidate/s should possess the following minimum qualifications and provide references as follows:

· A minimum of 5 years of professional research experience in business administration, human resources, education and skills development, auditing.

· Experience in conducting cost-benefit analysis, preferably in the context of skills development

· Experience working in the Asia-Pacific region is an advantage.

· Previous work experience with UN is an advantage.

· Communication skills, time management, gender and cultural sensitivity.

· Fluency in English; fluency in Thai languages is an advantage.


Fluency in English and Thai is required.



• Inclusion and respect for diversity: respects and promotes individual and cultural differences; encourages diversity and inclusion wherever possible.

• Integrity and transparency: maintain high ethical standards and acts in a manner consistent with organizational principles/rules and standards of conduct.

• Professionalism: demonstrates ability to work in a composed, competent and committed manner and exercises careful judgment in meeting day-to-day challenges.

Core Competencies – behavioural indicators

• Teamwork: develops and promotes effective collaboration within and across units to achieve shared goals and optimize results.

• Delivering results: produces and delivers quality results in a service-oriented and timely manner; is action oriented and committed to achieving agreed outcomes.

• Managing and sharing knowledge: continuously seeks to learn, share knowledge and innovate.

• Accountability: takes ownership for achieving the Organization’s priorities and assumes responsibility for own action and delegated work.

• Communication: encourages and contributes to clear and open communication; explains complex matters in an informative, inspiring and motivational way.


Any offer made to the candidate in relation to this vacancy notice is subject to funding confirmation. Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment and verification of residency, visa and authorizations by the concerned Government, where applicable. Only candidates residing in either the country of the duty station or from a location in a neighboring country that is within commuting distance of the duty station will be considered. In all cases, a prerequisite for taking up the position is legal residency in the country of the duty station, or in the neighboring country located within commuting distance, and work permit, as applicable

How to apply

Interested candidates are invited to submit their applications along with a duly completed IOM Personal History Form to the IOM Bangkok Human Resources Unit at e-mail [email protected] by May 29, 2022 at the latest.

Kindly indicate the reference code CFCV025/2022 followed by your full name in the subject line.

Applications should include: a) a cover letter, indicating the dates of availability; b) a curriculum vitae; c) a duly completed IOM Personal History Form which can be downloaded from

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Posting period:

From 16.05.2022 to 29.05.2022