Achieving the 100% Employment Pledge
The government has spent Nu 1.156 billions for the unemployed youths by involving them in trainings, workshops, internship opportunities for graduates, and entrepreneurship programs which benefitted 20,578 youths in the country.
Lyonchhen Dasho Tshering Tobgay urged all the unemployed youths who wish to get employed to come forward and register themselves with the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources (MoLHR) so that it will aid the government in better formulation of policies and employment plans to suit the job market.
“If there are any unemployed youths who have not yet registered with the labour ministry, I encourage everyone to get themselves registered so that the government can help them accordingly,” urged Lyonchhen.
The 100 percent employment pledge
The statement came after the Kengkhar Weringla MP Rinzin Jamtsho questioned the government during the Question Hour session in the parliament on 17 November in regard to the 100 percent employment pledge that the party made and on the pledge to provide unemployment benefits to the unemployed youth.
“Despite what has been promised during the party’s 2013 campaign, as of now, neither the pledge to fulfil the 100 percent employment rate has been met nor were unemployment benefits provided to the unemployed youths. So can the Prime Minister explain to the house the reasons for the failure on both the pledges,” questioned MP Rinzin Jamtsho. He also queried Lyonchhen on the job plans for the remaining part of their tenure to ensure further youth employment
Government has invested heavily on training youths
In response Lyonchhen said that the government has spent Nu 1.156 billions for the unemployed youths by involving them in trainings, workshops, internship opportunities for graduates, and entrepreneurship programs which benefitted 20,578 youths in the country. “So, such programs by the government should be constituted as an unemployment benefits for the unemployed youths.”
In regard to the 100 percent employment pledge, Lyonchhen presented that since the year 2013 till date, 38, 804 unemployed youths have registered with the Labour Ministry out of which 36,293 youths have already been provided jobs.
“So going by the records from the registered jobseekers, there are only 2,511 youths that are unemployed at the moment. It is a totally different scenario if there are still unemployed youths who haven’t registered with the Labour Ministry, so in this case I would like to urge every unemployed youths to register with the MoLHR soon.”
From the registered jobseekers in the country, Lyonchhen said that 30,916 job vacancies have been announced in the market out of which only 3,626 job vacancies are available at the moment.
“So going by the figures, the job vacancies available in the market (3,626) is higher than the registered jobseekers who are not yet employed (2,511) at the moment, which can be construed as 100 percent employment rate, but the gap that I am aware, as mentioned is that there are unemployed youths who have not registered with the Labour Ministry.”
On the way forward for the year 2017-2018, Lyonchhen said that the Labour Ministry has already framed job plans where job opportunities have been well identified in various sectors.
Plenty of job opportunities in 2018
“For the year 2017-2018, we have identified 7,101 job opportunities out of which only 1,220 slots have been occupied till date. We have over 5,879 job opportunities for overseas employment program and in the private sector.” Lyonchhen added that there are 879 job opportunities in government corporations as well.
When questioned on the need to send more youths for overseas employment program instead of providing jobs inside the country, Lyonchhen said, “There are youths who prefer to work outside the country, and the government is willing to support their dreams.
The youths not only gain exposure and experience, but they can also earn well which will help them in realizing their individual goals after returning back home. It will also benefit the economy of the country.”
It has been found the reasons behind youth unemployment in Bhutan are mainly due to the mismatch between demand and supply of skills in the job market, youth’s attitude towards available jobs in the market, lack of softer skills among youths, lack of financial support and the fear of taking risk to opt for entrepreneurial programs.
The PM says unemployed youths should come forward and register with the Labour Ministry so that the government can help them to get employed too.
By Sonam Yangdon (This article has been edited for the Bhutan Times)