The government has provided jobs to 15,840 youths from July 2013 to May 2015, according to the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources (MoLHR). The Labour Minister, Ngeema Sangay Tshempo, emphasized a sum of Nu. 1,034 mn was kept to generate employment when the opposition moved the motion on the employment issues at the National Assembly session on June 1.
The Kengkhar-Weringla representative, Rinzin Jamtsho, expressed his concern on youth unemployment. Though an overall unemployment rate is still relatively low level of 2.9% in 2013 the youth unemployment rate stands at 9.6%, 9.2% for male and 9.9% for female. He said the most alarming sign is, above all, that urban youth unemployment rate has shot up from 13.5% in 2013 to 22.8% in 2014. He pointed out this was a deeply worrying sign and the unemployment problem was reaching “a crisis level”, asking what measures had been taken curve unemployment in the last two years and if the government has any directions on this issue. He accused e government of the lack of a plan, asking “where are we heading?”
The Minister, answering this, clarified the government’s aim was to provide the full employment of 97.5% to the youths during 11th FYP. He said the MP’s remark was wrong and MoLHR had framed a national employment policy to know how to create employment opportunities in Bhutan. It is also working with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Forest over the employment issue.
He added “if young Bhutanese want jobs seriously, we’re ready to provide it. The government will provide job even if our country’s economy is not doing very well.” The ministry he said is working hard to tackle the problem and has introduced new programs such as the Guaranteed Employment Program (GEP), under which 1,632 youths got job. There was a 2,600 vacancies announcement as well. The ministry is now in a discussion with the Australian government for employment opportunities.
Further, there are plans to enable local governments to generate employment opportunities in Dzongkhags as well and MoLHR provides internship program for youths to gain some experience, according to the Minister. The ministry had also introduced a program to send SMS about vacancies to those who register. He mentioned that Business Opportunity and Information Centre (BOIC) had approved 998 projects and 1,500 youths were employed in various projects.
Lyonpo pointed out both overall and youth unemployment rate dropped last year, from 2.9% to 2.6% and 9.6% to 9.4% respectively. As the government aims to provide the full employment of 97.5%, the rate was 97.1% in 2013 and 97.4% in 2014. Lyonpo said it’s only 0.1 percentage point that was not fulfilled.