Graduates not going for blue collar jobs excuse not valid: Opposition

During the recent Parliament proceedings in response to a question from the Opposition on employment the Labour Minister Ngeema Sangay Tshempo said that he could employ all the youth but they did not want the blue collar jobs available.

This has been the staple institutional response by governments over the years of graduates and educated youth not wanting to take available blue collar jobs like construction, etc.

In response to a question on whether it was fair for any government to expect graduates and educated youth with high expectations to suddenly do menial and blue collars jobs and expect them to give up their dreams, the Opposition party said that it was not fair to do so.

Khar-Yurung MP Zangley Dukpa said that both society and family members have high expectations that when children aresent to school and then graduate from colleges they can secure a good job and make a good life. He said it was not fair to then let the graduates go for blue collar jobs.

Citing his own experience as an educationist he said that the whole debate of the education system producing the nuts the bolts for the market place is misplaced. He said this is because the market place keeps changing and so the nuts and bolts could get outdated.

The MP said that the job of a good education is to enable the youth to adjust to the new changes in society and promote innovation and creativity.

He said that creativity and innovation had to be inculcated from school but the current education blueprint does to reflect that.

Panbang MP Dorji Wangdi said that the 2013 Labor Force survey report shows that youth unemployment is around 13.5 to 13.6 percent. He said the report showed that the highest category of unemployed youth were in fact college graduates who were around 3,800 in number and formed 32.2 percent of the unemployed youth.

On the choice of profession the MP cited the International Labour Organization (ILO) and said that the agency says that jobs chosen by people should be accepted and respected and nobody can be forced to do blue collars jobs.

He said after going through the Education blueprint it does not solve the current and emerging problem of youth employment and the outcome at best will be a pool of educated but unemployed people.

He said that if employment is to be generated the policy should have also given focus on technical education and transformation but that was not there. He said the policy was not addressing the biggest problems and a complete restructuring was actually needed.

Opposition Leader (OL) Dr Pema Gyamtsho said that employment is linked to economic development and the government has no clear cut areas except for tourism where investment has gone down. He said the Opposition had suggested ideas like MICE where there would be lots of opportunity and it would also be important to take advantage of the comparative advantages of Bhutan. He said things like mechanizing construction could be done so that Bhutanese youth can do those mechanized jobs.

The OL said that the enabling conditions were already there in the form of farm roads, electricity, telecommunication etc to ask youth to start something in their villages but the government needed to come in with the enabling policies for investment.

He said His Majesty the King himself had stressed on the importance of education and so it was important for the government to focus on improving the education system so that the high expectations of the youth can be met.

The OL said that results can be achieved with right policies and the hearts and minds in their right places.

Kengkhar-Weringla MP Rinzin Jamtsho said that as per the PDP’s full employment promise during the 2013 elections they should be creating 1,20,000 jobs between 2013 and 2018 but at the current rate of progress the government would only be creating 5,600 jobs which is a mere five percent of what was pledged.

He also said that though the government said it will 30,000 Bhutanese overseas only 715 had been sent in the last two years and these had been plagued by numerous problems due to poor management by the government.

 

 

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