Over 12,700 youth employed under Guaranteed Employment Program by MoLHR

Apart form the above, REDCL loans and PSL has lead to self employment and new jobs

Under the Guaranteed Employment Program of the labour ministry, there are three schemes- Direct Employment Scheme (DES), Overseas Employment Scheme (OES) and Employment Skills Scheme (ESP).

A total of 5,131 Bhutanese jobseekers were employed overseas as of March 31, 2018 under the overseas employment program, 6,433 jobseekers were placed through Direct Employment Scheme, and total of 1,114 jobseekers were placed through Employment Skills Program.

With the mandate of the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources to Promote and facilitate gainful employment through provision of effective employment services, the Ministry has been collaborating with state owned enterprise such as Food Corporation of Bhutan, Farm Machinery Corporation Limited, Green Bhutan Corporation Limited whereby youths have been employed so far through Direct Employment Scheme (DES) and Guaranteed Employment Program.

As of 30th April 2018, a total of 770 Bhutanese youth were placed under different State Owned Enterprises (SoEs) with 57 more being placed within the month of April itself. There are 102 in the Food Corporation of Bhutan Limited (FCBL), 171 in the Green Bhutan Corporation Limited (GBCL), 106 in the Bhutan Livestock Development Corporation Limited (BLDCL), 384 in the Farm Machinery Corporation Limited (FMCL), 4 in SABAH Bhutan and 3 in Monastic Schools.

Likewise, under the direct employment scheme, a memorandum of understanding was signed in April between Department of Employment and Human Resources under Labour Ministry and National Housing and Development Corporation limited (NHDC) to employ 220 youths. Signing of the MoU is expected to contribute to the generation of employment opportunities, enhance the skills and work knowledge of the jobseekers, develop and professionalize the construction industry and to forge gainful partnership between the Ministry and the construction industry.

The Labour Ministry will support the stipend of 220 youths under the Scheme for a period of two years, and monitor the program and render technical support among other several other mandates.

The NHDCL, like the other recruiting partners will provide proper mentoring, guidance and evaluate the apprentices and more importantly regularize the service after two years of attachment period to all the 220 youths.

“The collaboration will support the NHDCL in establishing the Home Maintenance Division and strengthening the Manufacturing Unit. It will be an important collaborative effort undertaken by MoLHR and NHDCL towards providing employment for our youths,” said Karma Dorji, Programme analyst with the department of technical education, MoLHR.

He said that in addition, the Home Maintenance Division and Manufacturing Units will also have wider impact in providing housing support services to the government construction projects, private sector and private home owners and that the Ministry believes that such initiatives will facilitate in creating a pool of professionals who will be equipped in providing effective and reliable home maintenance services in the future.

As per the financial agreement, the total employment cost support by Labour Ministry will account to Nu 43.642M for 220 youths per annum.

According to the MoLHR, Direct Employment Scheme (DES) under Guaranteed Employment Program (GEP) is one of the flagship programs, to engage unemployed jobseekers of classes ten and above, who are willing to take up employment and stay engaged.

The objective of the scheme is to support guaranteed employment to youth through various modes of engagement and training programs for a maximum period of one year where a part of the salary is met by the ministry.

It aims to provide skill training in those areas and sectors that are in high demand in the labour market, create a pool of skilled and semi-skilled human resources in the country, promote and inculcate dignity of labour and address shortage of human resources in the country.

The overseas employment program are Bhutanese youth beings sent to work abroad which is facilitated by the Labour Ministry.

The Employment Skills scheme is where a training institute trains and places Bhutanese youth in jobs. The agency gets an additional amount for every employed youth.

Apart from direct jobs facilitated by the above MoLHR schemes many have been employed or self employed due to the various REDCL (formerly BoIC) projects and also the recent Priority Sector Lending (PSL) policy that encourages banks to give collateral free low interest loans to youth taking up small businesses and commercial agriculture.

The impact of the above programs has been visible in the Bhutan Living Standards Survey (BLSS) report (done from March to April 2017) which showed that the unemployment rate of the country has hit the lowest at 2 percent compared to 2.7 percent in 2012. This is the lowest ever unemployment rate.

The higher employment of youth is also visible in the form of lesser number of applicants for various jobs especially in the private sector with many companies having to float vacancies multiple times.

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