GEP- effective when job seekers understand procedures

Many job seekers who cannot register themselves into the Guaranteed Employment Program (GEP) online have to come all the way to the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources (MoLHR) in Thimphu to seek assistance and apply for a job. They say it is inconvenient for them to register from home.

Tshering, 22, who now works in a private company through GEP, said that she had to come to Thimphu from Dagana just to register with GEP. A graduate from Sherubtse College, Sonam, said she faces difficulties while applying for jobs as it is a complicated procedure for her to locate the phone numbers of the employers.

Media focal person, MoLHR, Sonam Lhamo, said that under normal circumstances, visiting MoLHR in person is not required as one can register online from anywhere. While registering for GEP, one should first be a registered jobseeker in MoLHR’s job portal. The minimum qualification required is class X pass.

As MoLHR’s job portal is integrated with Department of Civil Registration (DCRC), Bhutan Council for School Examination Assessment (BCSEA), Construction Development Board (CDB) and Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA), therefore, when one of the systems is down, the job portal is also affected.

The media focal person also pointed out that problems arise when individuals forget to maintain their valid email identity and forget their passwords after the first registration. “Valid email ID and log in passwords are critical for any follow up log in.”

The phone numbers of the employer agency is usually not given in the emails that the jobseekers receive. According to the senior IT officer, MoLHR, Suresh Nepal, phone numbers are available on the job portal, and they also include short hands regarding the employment in the email because of the high number of registered jobseekers. “All the needful information is on the job portal and jobseekers usually don’t take time to visit the portal which leads to the confusion thereafter,” he added.

According to MoLHR, the deadlines for job application in the GEP website are tentative. At times some old job information that has not been deleted is on the website, thereby, causing confusion. There are also problems with shortlisted candidates not being interviewed as small firm owners go out of station to conduct interviews as scheduled.

GEP has 22711 (10264 males and 12447 females) jobseekers registered in the job portal as of September 30.  The ministry has recognized the issue of diploma as an academic qualification versus diploma as only training qualification, and problems faced while opting for a desired job career.

Such hurdles will cleared when carrying out enhancement of the portal. A number of corrections are to be made during the improvement of the services.

GEP, a scheme designed to ensure the ease of providing employment to thousands of jobseekers, has employed 2400 (1253 female & 1147 male) under direct employment service scheme since from July 1, 2014 till date.

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