Granting full employment for the youth will be very challenging as increasing number of job seekers flood the job market every year.
But, the south Thimphu candidate of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Tandin Wangmo said nothing is impossible for Bhutan, given its size and composition.
This was also promised by Party President Tshering Tobgay at its youth convention at Olakha.
Tandin Wangmo said the goal of full employment for the youth is achievable because Bhutan is a small country and produces less than 2,000 university graduates every year.
“We are not talking about a huge number of young Bhutanese who are in the job market,” she said.
She added that the issue is not about the unavailability of jobs, but about the lack of political commitment to deliver full employment for the youth.
“The PDP offers this commitment and deliver full employment. Full employment for the youth will be very challenging. It cannot be achieved in a year. But we are going to make it our utmost priority,” she added.
In addition, PDP has plans and various strategies in place to provide meaningful employment to youth and initiate several schemes. Various strategies would be initiated to prepare and train the youth for employment.
One such scheme involves compensating the youth while they are waiting to get employed.
The south Thimphu party candidate said PDP will be fully committed strengthening the youth so they are not left behind.
She said PDP’s promise on student loans is for needy students who cannot otherwise pursue higher education. Today, some parents sell their ancestral properties and agricultural land to send their children to college. Sending children to college has become very challenging for many parents.
PDP’s intention in facilitating education loans for students is to encourage all children to complete their education. Tandin Wangmo said the country needs to build on its human resource, and to encourage children to complete their education. PDP aims to encourage the university graduates to go for their master’s degree, and those with master’s degree to pursue their PhD.
“We must build our human resource,” she added.
However, the PDP candidate clarified that the student loans will not be interest free loans. It will be designed to help students pursue higher education. It will have several flexibility clauses on the mode of repayment and other formalities, but it is important for students to become responsible and not take the loans as a grant from the state.
“It will be a student friendly loan,” she said.
Kinley Tshering, 25, who is currently doing an internship in a private company, said creating 100% employment will be difficult to achieve. But with full determination and hard work nothing is impossible.
“The idea and vision are good, but it’s still worrisome how far they carry out,” he added.
A Sherubtse college graduate, Kezang Wangdi feels that PDP’s 100% youth employment promises are unjustified and it cannot achieve it.
“100% youth employment promises by PDP’s president seems impossible,” said Rinchen Khandu who graduated from Darjeeling. He added there are too many B.com and BBA/BBM students and it will be very difficult to find jobs.
PDP also made Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) pledges whereby, it will bring in the much needed expertise, investment, and technology.
“We stand to benefit from all these aspects of FDI. Having said that, we definitely need to be careful on certain fronts, and we have to plan it accordingly in consultation with our people,” Tandin Wangmo said.
“In a globalised world, FDI is an opportunity and we have to capitalize from it. We have to think progressively, and FDI is a global reality. Job creation is just one aspect of FDI,” she added when we asked about FDI in Bhutan.
Another one of PDP pledges is to enhance employment opportunities for Bhutanese workers in foreign countries.
In this regard Tandin Wangmo said, PDP wants the Bhutanese to be the best in what they do and encourage Bhutanese to train and work outside, and have the global competence to compete with the best in the world.
“We can only develop if we have a good human resource and to achieve it, we have to have an open mind and value human resource. We will work to make the Bhutanese people compete with the best in the world,” she added.
Sangay Choda/ Thimphu