Yangyel Lhaden

Build Bhutan Project (BBP), which would end next month, has engaged about 4,000 youth in construction sector.

The number of youth engaged is more than half of its target to engage 7,000 youth within two years.

Labour Minister Karma Dorji shared the figures during the first hour of National Assembly, yesterday.

He was answering the question from Khar-Yurung Member of Parliament (MP), Tshering Chhoden, who asked the status of BBP and its way forward as the project comes to an end next month.

She questioned if BBP was able to provide youth skills-related jobs. “I am doubtful if BBP could have addressed youth unemployment because the overall unemployment rate is 4.8 percent and youth unemployment is 20.9 percent.”

Lyonpo Karma Dorji said that in two years, BBP engaged 1,739 youth in specialised firm, private construction, and hydropower projects and 2,121 youth were trained in various skilling programmes such as masonry, carpentry, electrical, painting, and welding.

He said that although the project’s aim was to engage 7,000 youth by skilling them and creating jobs, the project couldn’t engage more than 4,000 youths. “We couldn’t meet the target though we gave them opportunity because many youths are not interested in taking construction-related jobs.”

Lyonpo Karma Dorji said that although the project was coming to an end next month, labour ministry would continue to provide construction-related skilling programmes through the ministry’s skills development programme and village skills development programme.

He said that there are 49 specialised firms established through BBP, which would also continue to provide jobs to jobseekers in construction sector. “In collaboration with Ministry of Work and Human Settlement we have initiated certified builder through which youth would be provided skilling and they will get opportunity to construct private buildings.