One of the new approaches of the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources (MoLHR) to address unemployment in the 12th FYP is their plan to institute an Employment Responsibility System (ERS).
As of yet, nine sectors have been identified by the government which will all come together and will have the responsibility to create jobs in their respective domain.
The labour ministry in collaboration with the identified stakeholders is still working on making the system making more coherent and efficient at the moment. However, the majority of conceptualization works has been laid out and is expected to be put up to the cabinet as soon as possible for consideration.
“Employment Responsibility System will constitute the labour market system, job portal, and the employment responsibility committee. The labour market system is intended to inform the job seekers about employment facilitation services provided by the ministry and the job portal will be used for the purpose of shortlisting and recruitment, selection and appointment of participants for all areas of engagement facilitated by the ministry,” said the labour minister, Lyonpo Ugyen Dorji.
Lyonpo Ugyen Dorji said that the Employment Responsibility Committee is new in the picture and will facilitate the creation of jobs in various sectors through consultation, collaboration, and coordination among the sectors involved. “The plan is still in the draft stage, and subjective to minor changes, but for now we will be proposing the Prime Minister to chair the high-level committee and I’ll be the vice-chair. We will also have senior bureaucratic members like the secretaries from the identified sectors.”
For now, some of the identified sectors are Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Work and Settlement, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Tourism Council of Bhutan, Royal Monetary Authority, Ministry of Information and Communication, Gross National Happiness Commission, Ministry of Finance, and the principal facilitator, Ministry of Labour and Human Resources.
A working committee will be formed in each of those sectors identified and a focal person from the Policy and Planning Division will be appointed. All the ground studies will be carried out by the working committee and come up with programs to help create employment opportunities.
The high-level committee comprising of the chairman, vice-chairman, and secretaries from various sectors will liaise with the Employment Responsibility Committee and engage in policy-related decision making.
The working committees in the identified sectors will have the responsibility to ensure that their plans and policies led to job creation in their relevant domains be it in private or corporate sectors.
“To give better clarity, let’s give some examples of corporations like Farm Machinery Centre Limited, Green Bhutan Corporation Limited, and Livestock Development Corporation Limited among many other corporations, which fall under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry as the lead agency. So there are opportunities for the sectors to create more jobs in such areas of relevance, be it in corporate or the private sectors,” explained the labour minister.
“The identified sectors will now have to utilize the budget even more prudently from the total budget allocated in the 12th plan period to finance and facilitate more job opportunities. “It will, however, also depend on the different sectors to work and come up with their own design to create more jobs. The identified sectors will be reviewed and will have the responsibility meet their annual targets,” said the labour minister.
Lyonpo Ugyen Dorji also said that the current Employment Responsibility System that is still under discussion will be a central agency approach but will also gradually work to cater the service at the grassroots level.
Once the Employment Responsibility System is officially instituted, the labour ministry expects to facilitate more than 50,000 job creation in the 12th plan period. “All the nine sectors that have been identified are the priority sectors, but we will also try to devise more attractive schemes in the sectors like agriculture and construction sector which have more potential to absorb and create many job opportunities.