…national skills competition winners recognised


Lhakpa Quendren

Gelephu—With Bhutan becoming a member country of WorldSkills Asia in September 2023, the winners of the national skills competition will compete in WorldSkills Asia starting next year.

To prepare for the competition, the Ministry of Education and Skills Development (MoESD) conducted the first-ever national skills preparation from April 19 to 23 at the Jigme Wangchuck Power Training Institute in Sarpang.

The winners were recognised on National Zorig Day in Gelephu yesterday, and artisans displayed their finished products at the stalls for sale.

The chairman of the national skills competition operating committee, Karma Dorji, said that the criteria for the national competition were set to align with those of the WorldSkills Asia competition.

“For instance, participants were limited to ages between 18 and 25 to align with the criteria of WorldSkills Asia,” he said. “The maximum age for participation in WorldSkills International is 22.”

Bhutan is also expected to join the membership of WorldSkills International in September this year. Should the country become a member, national-level winners would compete in WorldSkills International if they win at WorldSkills Asia.

Karma Dorji said that the government has supported the membership. “Such platforms will help youths develop the skills required to adapt to changing times.”

Education Minister Yeezang De Thapa stated that the experience gained from the national skills competition would enable young Bhutanese to compete in international skills competitions.

“Skills development plays a crucial role in shaping the workforce, driving economic growth, and increasing opportunities for entrepreneurship and long-term gainful employment,” she said.

A total of 46 participants, including eight females, participated in the competition across eight categories: baking, bricklaying, furniture making, religious painting (Lhadri), carving (Patra), silver and gold smithery (Troezo), web technology, and welding.

The winners of each category were awarded cash prizes of Nu 100,000 for first place, Nu 70,000 for second place, and Nu 50,000 for third place. Additionally, first-place winners will receive a complimentary student care policy for one year from Bhutan Insurance Limited.

Dorji Thongmey, a 20-year-old final-year student at Gyalpozhing College of Information Technology, believes that skills make a difference in employment. He won the web technology category.

“The job market is highly competitive, and merely having a degree does not provide an advantage without the necessary skills,” he said. “With a set of skills, we can also compete against others in the same field at the international level.”

Bidya Rai, 24, an employee at dusitD2 Yarkay, who won the baking category, said that the competition at the national level would encourage them to further enhance their skills. “As we rely on our skills, I believe we should continue to develop them for regional or international competitions.”

WorldSkills Asia is a skills competition for the best participants from national competitions across Asia. It is an international non-profit organization promoting high-quality technical skills and vocational education among Asian Member Countries.