Jigme, an Information and Technology (IT) graduate has been jobless for a year. Even after applying for job vacancies regularly, he failed to get his course related job.
Similar to him many students who graduated with computer background are not able to get jobs in Bhutan. They say that the job for their courses is limited which actually adds up to youth unemployment.
“I have been applying for every vacancy for more than a year, even if it’s for other courses,” said Jigme. Most of the time the agencies fall short of recruiting IT graduates as the course contradicts the job availability, he said.
With no options left and to sustain his life he said that he had enrolled himself in health survey conducted by ministry of health this year.
While another graduate in Bachelors in Computer Application (BCA) Karma Wangmo said that she had stopped hunting for job and runs a shop in capital. “We hardly see vacancies related to our course, even in Job fair I didn’t see single vacancies for us,” she added.
Meanwhile some of these graduates have enrolled themselves in private sector jobs which doesn’t have any link with the courses they have learned for around three years.
Some of them have applied in banking sections and few got recruited but still they see a bleak future in Job market to get a related job.
“Most of the vacancies are for technical graduates and we hardly see vacancies for IT officers,” said Chogyal Norbu, a BCA graduates from Manipal University. On top of that he said most of the agencies demand for experienced employees.
However some of the IT graduates might get recruited as they have applied for an assistant IT officer’s post in Royal Monetary Authority (RMA). “For this vacancy the agency has asked applicants to be experienced or fresh graduates,” said Chogyal Norbu.
Graduates said that they opted for this course as they saw potential demand for this course initially. However the scenario for job market seems to be different, they said.
“I have observed that slots for IT officers are mostly absorbed by those who did diploma courses from private training centers when we are left unemployed,” said Karma Sonam, IT graduate.
A senior officer in a private media house said that more than 500 graduates applied for an announced vacancy last year in the company he currently works for. Most of the applicants were from IT and other Computer trained backgrounds. “This foresees the unavailability of job and they are in dire need of job,” he added.
Youth representatives in the recent National Employment Forum held in Thimphu by the labor ministry also voiced out that IT related jobs are limited since the works are outsourced to neighboring countries.
Therefore government must make sure that graduates are being trained well and let the work stay in the country itself.
However Assistant Employment officer Ugyen Dorji said that it’s not that job available for these courses is limited but the ratio between them and the general graduates makes a difference.
“Compared to general graduates they are comparatively less, so the vacancies might be less for them,” he added.
Meanwhile the graduates with computer background are increasing yearly. According to Labor Market Information Division, the 2012 National Graduate Orientation Program (NGOP) had around 331 graduates with computer background.
In the year 2011, there were around 297 graduates and 155 graduates in 2010. But registered jobseekers with BCA and IT background in the year 2012 and 2011 were 284 and 277, respectively.
According to Labor Market Information Guide for University graduates, 2012, from 98 private, corporate, Non Governmental Organizations and construction companies around 13 posts were for IT and BCA graduates.
The Labour secretary Dasho Pema Wangda said that work plan has been set and series of trainings are in the pipeline for the university graduates inorder to recruit them in the Thimphu Tech Park.
“Around 200 university graduates will be recruited and trained for Thimphu TechPark but we expect more IT graduates and ministry is supporting them,” he said.
Earlier the tech park had recruited graduates but most of them were laid off as they could not meet the foreign companies’ mark though they were sincere and faithful.
“This time the recruited graduates will be trained thoroughly and screened after it,” the labor secretary said. “Employment cannot be created by us; it depends on country’s economy. Therefore we need to look into it.”
He said that graduates with computer background, unable to get job, can be the quality or lack of technical skills in them.
Meanwhile the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) is developing a curriculum for long term sustainability for this kind of project. All the colleges under RUB and Royal Thimphu College (RTC) would have two new modules in their syllabus, namely Language enhancement and Analytical skills.
This will make future graduates skilful and competent to work in these companies.