The Labor ministry (MoLHR) with its recently launched National Human Resources Development (NHRD) advisory series hopes to tackle the mismatch of skills and jobs to address overall unemployment issues.
Labor Minister Dorji Wangdi said “currently, different agencies have their own Human Resources Development (HRD) policies, plans and programs which are neither based on long-term national economic policy or direction nor on any labor market information”.
The policies and plans of these agencies are not synchronized with that of one another in any way. All this is believed to have widened the gap between labor market and unemployment issues.
The advisory series will therefore attempt to bring coherence, coordination and calibration in the HRD actions of different agencies and provide gainful employment to achieve national objectives and aspirations.
The series mainly intends to reduce mismatch in the labor market through planned HRD intervention, will also be helpful to curb other unemployment issues and develop appropriate HRD policy, plans and programs for alsl the agencies.
According to the labor ministry’s annual report (Fiscal Year 2011-12), a total of around 140,000 jobs will be required in the 11th Five Year Plan and approximately, 21,000 jobseekers will enter the labor market on an annual basis.
A ministry news release stated there is a need to coordinate the efforts of all HRD-implementing agencies in accordance with the economic and social needs of Bhutan. The HRD advisory series will look into the change in domestic and international environment.
The projected number of job seekers for 2018 is 27,505, while last year there were 18,682. Students who are class X and XII pass outs would add to the unemployment numbers. The projected number for the above category is 13,083.
In 2012 there were around 21,308 students studying in Classes X and XII. Job seekers who are degree holders made up for 1,969 of the number for 2012 but it would increase to 3,421 in the year 2018.
As per the Labour Force Survey (LFS) conducted in 2012 the total population is 734,851 while total persons employed are 329,487. However total unemployed had decreased from 10,500 to 6,904 over the year.
The MoLHR achieved 2.1% unemployment rate, much lower than targeted yet youth unemployment remains the biggest concern for the government.
Labor minister Dorji Wangdi said “we are optimistic that the challenge can be comfortably met, except that we must keep doing the right thing and get our actions together; synchronize and calibrate our action”.
The National HRD policy developed in 2010, to reiterate the importance of human resources to economic growth and social development, could not benefit the labor market’s need and ultimately widened the gap in the labor market vis a vis unemployment issues.
The economic goals of a nation can be achieved with the creation of planned human resources development. But the 2010 HRD program was mostly not for the long-term economic needs of the country.
Therefore the objective of the HRD advisory series is to guide and advise the government of Bhutan and its implementing agencies on the emerging HRD requirements, focusing on the country’s economy.
The advisory series will also provide advise and look into the existing and required HRD institutions in the country and review National Policy implementation by different agencies.
“Human resources development provides the firmest foundation for lasting development,” said the labor minister.
Therefore he said “further strengthening the human resources would in turn strengthen the economy and be able to provide gainful employment to all”.
Article 9 (15) of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan mandates the state to strive for full development of the human personality of the entire population of the country through right investment in their knowledge, skills and values.