During the First Meet the Press Conference on Friday, the Labour minister Lyonpo Ugyen Dorji said that the Ministry’s top priority in the 12th Five Year Plan is to address the youth unemployment problem in the country with the aim of bringing down the youth unemployment rate to 9 percent from the existing 12.3 percent.
Lyonpo Ugyen Dorj said, “As per the Labour Force Survey 2017, which is the most recent statistics that we have, about 12.3 per cent of youths are unemployed and we are targeting to bring it down to 9 percent in the 12th plan.”
A total of Nu. 2.8bn capital budget has been allocated for ministry in the 12th plan.
Lyonpo Ugyen Dorji said, “We have two major programs in the 12th plan such as transforming practical and vocational education and training and creation of productive and gainful employment opportunities.”
Speaking about the overall unemployment problem, the labour minister said, “Youth unemployment is a major issue in the country and all our major programs and activities are designed towards addressing the youth unemployment.”
Adding further, Lyonpo Ugyen said, “The unique thing about our approach towards addressing the overall youth unemployment in the country for the next five years is the new approach that we are adopting- we will be instituting the employment responsibility system whereby we will collaborate with all the nine sectors that we have identified. The government agencies and sectors will come together and will be the responsible of creating certain number of jobs in each sector”.
Lyonpo also said, “We will also work with corporate and State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and we are expecting to create about 67,000 jobs over the next five years. On the other side, around 70,000 new job seekers are projected to enter the job market but we have additional 11,000 job seekers who have already entered the job market- so in total we have around 82,000 job seekers in the market, of which we are expecting that 67,000 jobs will be created through collaboration and coordination with the public sectors and the corporate sectors”.
Lyonpo said that not all the jobs created will demand young people and if 50 percent of the job demands young people, that would leave around 38,000 more younger generation who would be looking for jobs.
“For that, the labour ministry will take the responsibility. We have several employment programs like Direct Employment Schemes and Overseas Employment Program among others which we hope would provide employment opportunities to the remaining 38,000 but we know that this is being little ambitious. We will work hard towards that goal but still by the end of the 12th FYP we know that there will still be few youth who would be looking for jobs but the overall target that we have calculated is to reduce the employment rate to 9 per cent”.
Lyonchhen (Dr) Lotay Tshering said, “Many ministries are just working to achieve their mandate and unemployment is not their concern but we immediately want all the ministries and agencies to be worrying about unemployment, and thereby creating employment opportunities on daily basis. We are making plans to remind all that unemployment is national issue.”
The prime minister added, “We are not saying that we can solve unemployment problem completely but what we will be achieving in five years will be one of the best achievements.”