A second successful batch of 20 machine operators was trained to operate heavy machines by the ministry in collaboration with the Construction Development Corporation Limited (CDCL). The trainees were awarded certificates on 5 July, by Labor Minister Dorji Wangdi.
Chief program officer, Karma said that initially the Technical Training Institutes (TTI) didn’t have the capacity to train people in this field. “Now that all the TTIs should be a center of excellence, STTI was identified to provide all kinds of training for heavy machine operators,” he said.
The STTI would work in collaboration with other relevant stakeholders including hydropower construction companies to train the operators. Thus far, CDCL had been involved in construction activities for a long time and is well equipped to train youths to operate heavy machines.
The coordinator and the Instructor of the training program H.P Phuyel, said with mechanization of construction there is a projected need for qualified operators.
The trainees too are optimistic about their qualification as their previous batches were absorbed in the market.
“A blue collar job is equivalent to a white collar job if you have skills. Today we feel like any other graduate as we have skills,” said a trainee, Ugyen Tshering who completed education till his 12th grade.
Similarly Passang Norbu Sherpa, 32 a former clerk in a Gup’s office said he joined the training program as he was keen and confident to get a lucrative job.
Trainees were further attached with experienced operators at CDCL project sites in Panbang, Digala, Samdrupcholing and Hesothangkha for hands-on experience. In addition, the trainees were also taught the usage of Heavy Machines, configurations, safety precautions, inspection and maintenance.
All 20 trainees have been assessed in their theory and practical knowledge at the end of the training program by a Committee which comprised officials from the Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA).
The Heavy Machine Operators’ training programme is implemented under the Sustainable Development Secretariat (SDS) Project for Private Sector Human Resources Development.
The Labor Minister reiterated that skill technicians are vital for a country that is progressing, since recruiting foreign expatriates is not conducive to achieve economic self reliance.
There is no better evidence of the dearth of skill workforce in the country than the almost 50,000 foreign workers with work permits and the near 20,000 day workers in the border areas who enter Bhutan every day.
The program was delivered through seven weeks of training, consisting of theory classes and practical training in Hesothangkha, Wangduephodrang.