To encourage more youths into construction, the Ministry Labor and Human Resources (MoLHR) decided to increase the pay of those youths under the Build Bhutan Project (BBP). The revised benefits will provide individuals joining construction sector an increase from 25% to 60% for degree engineers and up to 110% per cent for unskilled category from the monthly floor wage.
Currently unskilled laborers earn Nu 13,200, NC 2 gets 16,500, NC 3 gets 18,150, diploma holders get 19,800 and engineers get 22,000.
Under the new scheme unskilled laborers will earn Nu 25,200, NC 2 gets 28,500, NC 3 gets 30,150, diploma holders get 30,800 and engineers get 33,000.
The revised benefits shall be effective from February 2021. The monthly floor wage that employers have to pay shall remain the same and there will be no financial implication to employers.
Ugyen Dorji, Minister to MoLHR said that they have come across many challenges after the inception of BBP and to address everything at one go would be next to impossible. With a hope to address those issues one by one, they took a move with wage top-up to the existing wage, he added.
Lyonpo said, “If youths or whoever is taking construction work are encouraged and if contractors give them the opportunity, then we would be benefited and we may not have to depend on foreign laborers.”
The unskilled worker will get Nu 25,200 minimum which Lyonpo said some might feel is too much. But he said if the expenses incurred in bringing in the foreign workers is calculated the amount is deserving.
The wage increase is to encourage people into construction sector and to have skilled laborers, Lyonpo added. For those who are undergoing training in TTI’s, they will get Nu 21,000 while on On Job Training (OJT).
“The candidates will have to sit for National Certificate (NC) exam through which if they are certified with NC certificate than their wage per month will be Nu 28,500 from Nu 21,000. So, we are providing such an opportunity under the project,” Lyonpo added.
In addition, a scarcity allowance of Nu 3,000 per month for masons will be provided as the current supply for masons falls way short of demand.
The project will also provide a monthly stipend of Nu 6,000 and Nu 3,000 for food and accommodation while in TTI’s.
Through the BBP, Lyonpo said, “We hope to be able to attract and retain people, impart skills, promote entrepreneurship and facilitate linkages to create a dynamic business environment in the construction sector. This will have far-reaching impacts such as creation of employment and business opportunities, improvement of infrastructure quality and timely completion of projects among many.”
Since July 2020, 549 individuals out of 2,332 applicants have been engaged against a total available vacancy of 7,037 (2,731 skilled and 4,306 unskilled) as of December 31, 2020.
A total of 451 candidates have been enrolled for the skilling program, of which, 248 have completed the skilling program and are currently on OJT and 203 are currently undergoing the skilling program in four TTI’s.
To meet the shortage of skilled workforce, a total of 73 individuals have been certified through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in the trades of Electrician, Construction Carpentry, Masonry and Plumbing.
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