Unemployment is a global issue affecting every nation, and no country has achieved zero-unemployment rate. However, the government is not ignoring it and considers it very important to provide jobs to all Bhutanese. Lyonchhen (Prime Minister), Dr. Lotay Tshering underlined this in reply to a question from National Assembly (NA) member from Kengkhar-Weringla constituency, Monggar, Rinzin Jamtsho who asked about the plans and strategies to address unemployment issues.
Lyonchhen also said that with the world progressing and the 21st century’s demand, the youth need skill and knowledge in blockchain technology, data analytics and project management. “Amendments are made to make the youth more skilled and better,” he added.
The PM said that even economically stable countries are also facing rising unemployment and that in Bhutan too, it has been a persistent issue for a long time.
Lyonchhen added that statistics shows that about 28% of the youth in the country are unemployed, which is a higher percentage compared to former years. In terms of numbers, it is about 8,000 youth who are without work.
Lyonchhen also added that the rise in unemployment could also be due to rise in survey questions and answers.
For instance, he said, there are about 7,000 youth involved in different De-Suung skilling programmed and about 4,000 youth who are working on different water projects, Gyalsung projects and hydropower projects, but they are all classified as unemployed because they are all under the De-suung skilling projects.
“There is a need to ensure accurate categorization and calculation of these individuals to effectively address the unemployment crisis,” he said.
The PM further said that the government is carrying on with the previous work as usual, but that new policies are introduced to address the issue and that even the civil service has been reformed.
He said that there is also a big gap between skills and the work expectations. “As an investment, there are lots of amendment made. For example, the introduction of De-suung skilling programmed that was not available in the country before, and some courses in the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) are modified to suit future employability.”
Lyonchhen also said that currently, most of the employment opportunities are in the health and teaching sectors, and that more opportunities are provided in those areas. However, he said that the concern about unemployment remains, and that there is a need to go beyond the old plans to deal with the issue efficiently.
Nidup Lhamo from Thimphu