Sector based skilling and training programs for the unemployed

The Ministry of Labour and Human Resources (MoLHR) plans to provide sector based skilling and training programs to the unemployed apart from the Build Bhutan Project (BBP), according to MoLHR Minister Ugyen Dorji during the National Assembly session yesterday.
The Lyonpo said the sector based skilling and training programs would be implemented in a month’s time and would benefit in the post-pandemic economic recovery.
The Member of Parliament (MP) from Bomdeling-Jamkhar constituency in Trashiyangtse, Dupthob asked the minister on the government’s plans and programs to address the rising rate of unemployment due to the outbreak of the pandemic in the country.
Additionally, he said, 50,000 people are affected by the pandemic of which 22% are unemployed youths, adding that the BBP has not been much successful as planned.
“Not having a strong economy of the country during the pandemic, the unemployment situation in the country is not good,” said Lyonpo Ugyen Dorji, adding that the economy is a good indicator for the employment.
Moreover, he said 22% of the unemployed are youth and the overall unemployment rate stands at 5%, according to Labour Force Survey, 2020. As of now, the Lyonpo said there are about 17,000 unemployed including 7,000 youths.
The minister also said that His Majesty The King’s monthly income support through Kidu and loan interest payment support Kidu were beneficial for the people including the DeSuung program.
The Lyonpo also said that the government has started the economic contingency plans and among various contingency plans, 1,300 temporary works were provided to those working in tourism sector and 1,400 engaged in the BBP.
Additionally, he said the deferral of corporate and business income tax was also supportive and under the National Credit Guarantee Schemes, 81 projects were awarded loans.
The Lyonpo said the ministry has supported 14,000 unemployed under the ministry’s various schemes that includes 1,154 in critical skills training program, 848 in youth engagement and livelihood program, 371 in entrepreneurship development program and 7,000 to 8,000 in free online Coursera courses.
Moreover, he said there are 80 graduates who are certified under the BBP and 36 specialised firms in the construction sector.
MP from Chhumig-Ura constituency Karma Wangchuk also asked the minister about the government’s notification that was repealed later on the minimum wage revision of Nu 25,000 for those engaged as BBP trainees.
The Lyonpo responded that the government decided to raise the wages finding the logic that foreign workers in construction sector earn Nu 30,000 per month and it would be unfair for the domestic workers to not pay at par to them.
He said wage revision is beneficial, however, given the current economic situation the revision could have impact to the other sector, and that the government would revise when the economic situation in the country gets better.

Thukten Zangpo from Thimphu