There are 54,821 foreign workers with work permits and at the least 20,000 day workers in Phuentsholing, Gomtu, Samtse, Samdrup Jongkhar and other border areas. With 74,000 expatriates workers there is a rupee outflow of more than Nu 7bn a year.
This was stated by the labor minister, Lyonpo Dorji Wangdi in a conference held on 3rd May during which he emphasized the importance and necessity of creating a skilled work force to drive and sustain the country’s economic growth.
He said the present situation depicts the dearth of a skilled workforce in the country, “therefore to curb the rupee outflow, creating our own skilled work force is vital”.
But in-country trainings such as technical and vocational training Institutes are left under capacity.
However, the labor minister said that in the last couple of years, the number of applicants has been increasing and around 1,200 Bhutanese youth registered for technical training this year.
Recently, 11 technical training instructors left for diploma in technical instruction to Nepal in order to upgrade their skills.
Upgrading the qualification of technical training instructors to diploma level was one of the main objectives of the labor ministry in the 10th Five Year Plan (FYP).
This was to promote quality technical and vocational training which would attract more applicants to the field.
The first batch of 11 technical training instructors was sent for diploma courses to Nepal in 2010, 13 of them in 2011.
However, the Director of Occupational Standards (DOS) under labor ministry, Sangay Dorji said that technical training institutes (TTIs) remaining under capacity was mainly because of lack of counseling and school education programs.
“The labor ministry will be reviving the counseling session and it has already been initiated in Trongsa and Bumthang,” said DOS Director.
“The labor ministry and Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) have come up with a framework whereby a student after grade X can choose either general or technical vocational education,” said the labor minister.
Now TTI graduates will also be accepted for diploma and degree courses under RUB colleges.
“RUB announced 15 seats for TTI graduates under Jigme Namgyel Polytechnic (JNP) in Dewathang,” said an official from the labor ministry.