110,000 youth to be vocationally skilled by 2026

Labour: With the implementation of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) blueprint, about 110,000 youth will be skilled in ten years (2016 to 2026), labour and human resources minister Ngeema Sangay Tshempo said during the launch of the blueprint and National Workforce Plan yesterday.

Lyonpo Ngeema Sangay Tshempo said that the quality of human resources is fundamental to any socio-economic development of a nation. In recent years, the government has accorded high priority and commitment to resolve increasing unemployment especially among youth, and the underemployment issue in the country.

Besides achieving close alignment with the government’s other policies and strategies, the blueprint will outline a strategic approach for policy reform and development planning in skills development, lyonpo added.

The TVET blueprint has a four-pillar action approach.

The first pillar is expanding TVET provision, which includes expansion of the TVET capacity to meet future needs, facilitating the expansion of private TVET providers, and promoting equity enrolments, among others.

Lyonpo said that around 200,000 youth will enter the labour market over the next ten years and a high proportion will require skills or skill upgrading in order to find gainful employment, which includes self-employment.

The current capacity in the TVET system is about 1,500 seats. Lyonpo said that the Bhutan Education Blueprint with its new education pathway expects the formal TVET system to absorb 20,000 students from secondary schools over a ten-year period.

Therefore, there will be a significant capacity gap which needs to be addressed with increasing number of youths requiring skills, lyonpo added.

The second pillar is improving quality as the TVET system faces significant quality problems and its trainees and employers perceive it negatively.

Training of trainers, improving the quality of TVET programmes, identifying new and innovative forms of delivery and ensuring that the private sector plays a key role in delivering TVET falls under Pillar II.

Lyonpo pointed out that Bhutan lacks a cohort of competent trainers. About 50 percent of the country’s trainers have a diploma level qualification and many trainers have not attended a formal training of trainers programme. As a result, the providers cannot effectively deliver TVET programmes especially at the diploma or higher levels.

A significant proportion of trainers are on short-term contracts and this acts as a disincentive for managers to support trainers’ trainings.

“Lack of academic qualification can be one of the main reasons for the providers to experience difficulties in introducing and managing organisational change or growth,” lyonpo said.

The third pillar, improving relevance, is put in place because of the growing imbalances and skill mismatches in the labour market.

Lyonpo explained that the country is experiencing increasing youth unemployment and at the same time, a growing number of job vacancies.

Youth unemployment rate is at 10.7 percent while there are about 3,500 unfilled job vacancies in the country.

“Evidence on hidden imbalances can be seen by the number of foreign workers in the country,” lyonpo said. “Evidence on the growing skills mismatch can also be seen with the large number of unemployed university graduates in the country.”

Lyonpo added that it is important to think about future imbalances and skill needs and how to respond appropriately. It is estimated that 25 percent of the workforce will retire over the next 10 years and they will need to be replaced.

Strengthening management systems is the last pillar. The TVET system management is characterised by structural weaknesses.

Lyonpo pointed out that the labour and human resources ministry does not have a coherent labour market information system to guide decision-making. Information is collected in an ad-hoc manner and based on individual surveys or studies.

“As the TVET system expands, it will be important to ensure that more data is collected to understand the labour market and guide decisions on how resources are allocated for TVET,” lyonpo said.

A series of planned background studies and consultations with the stakeholders comprising of policy makers, TVET providers, employers and society at large were carried out to develop the blueprint.

Dechen Tshomo

1 reply
  1. MIGNIEN
    MIGNIEN says:

    The answser to the failure of TVET come from wages. First increase wages !! All other plan are words for nothing

    I quote four paragraphs in the article called : “meager earnings discourage youth from taking TVET occupations” Apr 9

    “A 23 Years old school dropout said skilled jobs in Bhutan do not meet the aspiration of young people . Although he is unemployed , he did not go for TVET programmes because of the low salary

    The salary of blue collar workers does not help you graduate from poverty . IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO LIVE A DESCENT LIFE WITH BLUE-COLLAR JOB IN BHUTAN ”

    A corporate employee said people doing blue collar jobs are paid less than those with office jobs This was despite the fact such job are hazardous .

    EMPLOYERS NEED TO PAY GOOD SALARIES TO MAKE TVET PROGRAMMES SUCCESSFUL AND CHANGE PEOPLE’S PERCEPTION OF BLUE COLLAR JOBS .

    The answer of above declaration is in contradiction with the very problem : INCREASE SALARIES ; and you will have skilled workers . And , consequently ; less indian expats l

    The Minister of Labour and Human ressources should have those above opinions in his mind before any creation of any plan of workforce !

    Many of my bhutanese relatives have asked me to make an answer to the Labour Minister .

    Let them be understood through my little suggestion ! Although being foreigner . but , as a EU Citizen , EIB agreement will bring Investment support to Bhutan ( kuensel June 26 ) . So , though our income taxes , we help Bhutan . Therefore we have a tiny right to check in a glimpse of an eye how Bhutan manage our help .

    Peace for Bhutan !

    jcmignien@orange.fr

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