Multiple strategies in place to tackle youth unemployment

During the Q & A session in National Assembly yesterday, the issue of youth unemployment was deliberated.

Bartsham-Shongphu MP Passang Dorji said that there are a huge number of youths unemployed in Bhutan. According to the statistics, 15% of youths are unemployed and 64% of those who pursued higher studies were unemployed. “Last year, there were 14,000 students without jobs and an additional 8,000 youths were estimated without jobs at present,” he said adding that in the 12th five year plan, there would be 62,000 unemployed youths. Irrespective of being ruling or Opposition party, they should unite to help unemployed youths”, he said. He questioned what strategies the government have in place to address youth unemployment in the country.

Minister of Labor and Human Resources, Ugyen Dorji said that 15% unemployment rate is not a big issue as the figure would come to 4,000-5,000 in numbers. He said that due to poor economic development of our country, there are more numbers of unemployed youth. “If the economy of a country is stronger, the problem of unemployment could be solved easily. Secondly, the quality of education is poor as there is limitation in skills and expertise in a country. Additionally, the intellect and behavior of youths are considered an issue,” he said.

He said that during the National Day, as recommended by His Majesty the King, they are working on the 21st century economic roadmap initiated by Prime Minister, Dr. Lotay Tshering in collaboration with private sector and business entities. “With these initiatives, the economic issues and unemployment problem of the country are expected to be solved.”

Further, he said that His Majesty’s idea of Gyalsung might help students gain knowledge and skills that will help reduce the problem of unemployment. Additionally, Ministry of Labor and Human Resources has introduced the Youth Employment and Livelihood Program (YELP) to help youth access employment opportunities. Critical skills training program are also provided to improve crafting skills and to improve creativity. To progress entrepreneurships and startups, Cottage and Small Industry and startup flagship programs worth Nu 1.2bn have been introduced.

This, said the labor minister would develop the economy and provide employment opportunities to youths. Industrials parks are soon going to be started. The authorities concerned have started employment responsibility system to manage the way of doing the work. “We hope to employ every youth within our country and we are coming up with more plans and programs plus improving strategies to employ our youth,” he added.

Tenzin Lhamo from Thimphu