Build Bhutan Project engages 354 job seekers

Thinley Namgay

Build Bhutan Project (BBP) has employed 216 job seekers under the direct engagement scheme as of yesterday.

Of the 216, 131 are male, and 85 are women. Most of them were placed in Thimphu  (128) followed by Wangduephodrang with 64, and Chukha and Sarpang with seven each, among others.

Labour ministry placed 172 in building construction, 22 in repair and maintenance, 18 in other physical infrastructure, and the rest in the road and bridge construction.  Of that, 13 were general graduates, 17 technical graduates, 101 and 61 were class X and class XII graduates respectively, among others. 

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It also includes 83 unskilled workers, 51 for masonry, 30 for construction carpenter, and 24 plumbers.

Labour Minister Ugyen Dorji, said that some have begun their work.

The ministry had also placed 138 job seekers to technical training institutes (TTI) at Chumey, Dekiling, Khuruthang, Rangjung and Samthang in the field of carpentry, excavator operator, masonry, painting, plumbing, welding and electrical. The training will begin on August 10.

While the ministry would ensure personal protective equipment for those employed but the minister is worried whether they could be delivered on time given the restrictions on import due to Covid-19.

A total of 2,001 have registered to take part in the BBP as of yesterday, but only 771 applicants were approved for the placement. Of the 2,001, 1,204 registered for direct engagement, and other 797 have applied for skilling programme.

Construction firms placed a demand for 3,206 workers. Large contractors submitted a requirement of 2,188 whereas specialised firms required 104. Half the requirement was for unskilled workers, followed by 845 masons, and 328 construction carpenters, among others.

Lyonpo Ugyen Dorji said that the ministry couldn’t absorb all the 2,001 applicants due to various factors such as lack of proper communication and difficulty in implementing the project despite clear procedures.

“Engaging 354 is a good achievement. The numbers will increase in the future.”

BBP comprises of direct engagement, skilling programme, and specialised firms. Specialised firms will be composed of a group based on their expertise.

The minimum qualification required for the BBP is class X. Lyonpo Ugyen Dorji said that the ministry would provide opportunities for the illiterate who are genuinely interested in the project.

“The ministry alone cannot do much. Everyone has to support it considering the long term benefits to the economy and nation-building.”

“If we cannot fulfil this mandate today, I am not sure whether we can do it in the future.  Everyone understands that construction work is difficult but it’s not necessary that you have to work for the entire life in the construction sector,” Lyonpo said.

BBP was launched on July 1 with a budget of Nu 1,040 million to address the shortage of workers in the construction sector.

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