With Bhutanese jobseekers already being placed in India, Dubai, Kuwait, Qatar and Thailand, the labour ministry is now looking at Japan and Australia, as the next destinations of the overseas employment programme.
The ministry will help job seekers secure loans required for visa processing, training fees, institutional cost and air ticket according to the department of employment’s officiating director general, Ugyen Tenzin.
To place the youths in Australia he said that loans required for fees, tickets and other expenses would be below a million ngultrums. However, candidates are required to present a bank balance of Nu 3 million.
“The ministry in collaboration with the Royal Monetary Authority and financial institutions recently had a consultative discussion on coming up with a loan scheme for candidates (fresh jobseekers) seeking employment overseas,” Ugyen Tenzin said. “The provision of overseas employment loan facilities will immensely benefit those candidates who have not been able to avail regular loans from the financial institutions due to unavailability of collateral.”
He said the ministry is currently waiting for the Royal Monetary Authority to finalise loan products by the financial institutions. “The ministry will then seek approval from the government for the implementation of loan facilitation for overseas employment,” he added.
The overseas employment program in Japan is more of a study and work program. “Under this program, youths will be undergoing Advance Japanese Language Course in Japan for two years and is expected to earn a good amount through part time work during the language course,” according to the officiating director.
Once the youths are done with the Advance Japanese Language course, they will get recruited in regular jobs with a good annual income and jobs will depend on the qualification of the candidates or depending on the availability of the choices in the market.
The ministry is sending around 60 candidates in the first batch who leave in April. To be able to find part time work after arrival in Japan, the selected candidates in this program will have to undergo a basic Japanese course in Bhutan for 3-4 months.
“If the program turns out to be successful the ministry, through the agent, plans to send about 500 candidates in 2017 followed by another 500 in 2018,” the officiating director said.
He also said that the candidates would be monitored regularly as the program is fully coordinated by the ministry in collaboration with our own Bhutanese Overseas Employment Agent, who has collaborated with Japanese firms.
“Japan is known for its leading technologies, robotics, animation and so on and through this I am hoping to learn more,” said Ngawang Loday, a 2012 graduate from India. “We will have the opportunity to explore and most importantly learning their language is an advantage for us.”
However, he said that they are not sure about the job but have been promised that they will not be kept idle.