Youth unemployment has been a serious national issue. With the government unclear about the unemployment situation in the country today, it makes the matter worse.

The whiff we get is that youth unemployment rate has now reached 13.2 percent from 10.7 percent. Going by gender, there are more unemployed male than female.

It is expected that some 19,000 jobseekers could enter the labour market annually.

With many programmes like direct, over- seas, and self-employment programmes, instead of reducing the unemployment figure, we are witnessing a rise.

Although the government’s initiative to ease youth unemployment situation in the country must be applauded, something is going wrong with overseas employment programme. Every so often, we hear about problems faced by the Bhutanese who are in the countries that MoLHR and consultants sent them to through the programme.

We are told that skill mismatch is among the main reasons that contribute to rising un- employment in the country. Employers are reluctant to take in graduates that our colleges produce. What this means is that our children do not posses the attributes to enter the wider world of reality. This means education and how we are preparing our children for the future that they will face.

Without looking at these issues first, tack- ling unemployment issue headfirst with poorly planned programmes will not work. Our planners, policymakers, and educators need to look at the problem of youth unemployment from a broader perspective and get at the heart of the issue with right and timely solutions. Rising youth unemployment will be expensive.

Now when the government says that there isn’t even an official report, how are we to plan jobs? It is a serious failure from the government, and reflects poorly particularly on labour ministry.

Saying methodologies and survey tools employed were wrong will not suffice. The ministry should have the courage to accept its failure. Waiting for a report to give us the true picture of unemployment is an excuse that we cannot accept.