The Prime Minister launched the Guaranteed Employment Program (GEP) in YDF hall in Thimphu on June 25. GEP is a strategic response to address unemployment issue and is specifically designed to engage unemployment youth with class 10 and above who are willing to take up the GEP.
Speaking on the occasion, the PM said, “The youth say there are no jobs, but the government says there are jobs in the country, so there is mismatch and if you want to make more money than you should think of doing work in agriculture and construction sectors.”
During the 11th FYP, it is projected that about 120,000 jobseekers will enter the labour market. To achieve the government’s aim of providing full employment of 97.5% during the 11th FYP, an additional 82,000 jobs has to be created in the economy. Therefore, to address the social and economic problems associated with unemployment in the country, the government has pledged to introduce the Unemployment Benefit Scheme.
A budget of Nu 550mn has been set aside in the Economic Stimulus Plan (ESP) for Pre-employment Engagement Support Scheme implemented under the Special Support Scheme with MoLHR during the 11th FYP. The government will spend around Nu 453.28mn for GEP.
Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay said, “Whether you are government servants, farmers and residing in the towns, self-sufficiency is one of the important things. If people are self-sufficient then our country will become self-sufficient.”
The PM pointed out that there is a youth unemployment rate of 9.6% in the age group between 15-24. At present there are about 4,300 unemployed youth in the country. “The government needs to create about 82, 000 jobs to achieve full employment of 97.5%,” the PM said.
The current statistics show there are around 51,600 expatriate workers earning Nu 500 per day in the country and that means billions of Nu will move outside the country.
“The youths are very choosy about job, whether they are qualified or not, all the youths have same preference. So I would like to say that jobs which are available to you, you should do it, it will be good and will get experience,” MoLHR Minister, Ngeema Sangay Tshempo said.
He added that the youth are changing jobs frequently which hampers employment prospect as employers are looking for stable workers.
There were 665 slots announced; 140 slots for graduates, 118 slots for class XII and 407 slots for class X, as of June 24, 2014 under the Direct Employment Scheme (DES). There were 2,387 applicants against the confirmed vacancies by educational qualification. There were 1,227 graduate applicants, 965 class XII applicants and 195 class X applicants. Out of 2,387 applicants, there were 1,398 female applicants.
The guidelines of DES state that a graduate is eligible for a monthly allowance of Nu 7,500 that is provided by MoLHR, Nu 5,250 and Nu 3,750 for class XII and class X certificate holders respectively. A minimum contribution by partner agencies is Nu 3,750 towards the scheme.
GEP will support guaranteed employment to youth through various modes of engagement and training programs for maximum period of two years. The program will focus on the board economic sectors and areas of engagement like construction, agriculture, hydropower, tourism and hospitality, ICT, health, education and training, financial services, arts and crafts, sales and retail, production and manufacturing, automobile, green business, media and entertainment.
GEP aims to provide support to 5,000 youth for guarantee employment during the 11th FYP.
During the launch of GEP, three companies (Druk Loknyen Tramphel, Nazhoen Lamtoen and iSOFT) signed a contract agreement with MoLHR to provide about 144 jobs to the youth.
The MoLHR announced 44 slots for second batch of Direct Employment Scheme as of June 24. The ministry’s job portal system will be used for selection/recruitment of candidates for all areas of engagement or training under the GEP.