Twenty-nine out of school youth have decided to opt for career choices after a capacity building training in Phuentsholing organized by the Department of Youth and Sports under the education ministry last week.
The youth, mostly unemployed and school dropouts, were selected during a youth survey conducted this year.
While nine trainees have opted for direct employment in private sectors, another nine have opted to undergo trainings on vocational skills in Technical Training Institutes. Three each have opted to start business with funding from the Loden Foundation and Rural Enterprise Development Corporation Limited and work with the park management at the National Park in Bumthang respectively. Three trainees have also decided to work overseas and two in hospitality and tourism.
Apart from soft skills development, these youths were briefed on the availability of in-country training opportunities which they could pursue. Also, the department explored the possibility to provide direct employment opportunities by talking with private companies in Phuentsholing.
However, the youth are yet to get confirmation for any of their choices. The department will work with the relevant stakeholders, according to the officials. The department, after engaging these youths will keep track of their performances. “There are some desperate youth who need support,” said Phuentsholing’s Youth Center Manager, Karma Chogyel.
A 30-year-old unemployed graduate, Chungdu Tshering from Tamil Nadu has opted to undergo tour guide training. So far, he has done some temporary jobs. “Now I am determined to do a permanent job and settle,” he said.
Similarly, 23-year-old Rashmika Tamang has opted for training in the hospitality industry. “I feel that we have greater opportunity in hospitality in the country,” the class XII graduate said, “The training has opened doors for our future.”
Phuentsholing has recorded 250 youths-not in employment, education or training through mapping. The five-day training provided these youths capacity building skills, which can assist them to move ahead in their lives.
Phuentsholing Youth Center had conducted their youth community mapping survey exercise in March this year with support from UNICEF and the Phuentsholing Thromde administration. The survey was carried out by 12 youth volunteers and 3 Youth Center officials. The sample for the youth mapping exercise covered five youth hotspots in core areas within Phuentsholing and around the Indian border town, Jaigaon, where many Bhutanese youth also reside.
The training was organized with assistance from UNICEF. According to the Representative of UNICEF Bhutan, Rudolf Schwenk, adolescence is recognized as a ‘second window of opportunity’ to build on and increase the gains achieved during the first decade of a child’s life (0-10 years). “I believe that it is critical to listen and respond to the voices of young people. They need support to optimally develop their potential and transition successfully to adult roles and responsibilities,” he said. “Investing in adolescents is also critical from a demographic, economic and social development perspective.”
Krishna Ghalley from Phuentsholing