NA: The Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) blueprint will be tabled to the cabinet for approval in March next year.

Responding to Sergithang – Tsirang Toed MP, Novin Darlami on the status of the TVET blueprint that began last month, the labour minister, Ngeema Sangay Tshempo informed that the blueprint will be completed in February next year and will be submitted to the cabinet in March.

Lyonpo Ngeema Sangay Tshempo said more than 100 stakeholders were consulted while drafting the blueprint to articulate a long-term strategic vision to guide and influence reforms and developments in TVET over the next 15 years and also address the growing demand for skilled workers in the country.

He added that measures on getting adequate number of training centers and competent instructors are being carried on by the ministry.

Meanwhile, Nganglam MP, Choida Jamtsho questioned the minister on government’s pledge to create 100 percent employment and provide unemployment allowances to those unemployed.

“How many of the 7,578 university graduates who entered the job market in three years (2013-15) are employed today?” he asked.

Lyonpo Ngeema Sangay Tshempo said the government has initiated various employment programmes for the maximum employment of the jobseekers. “Unemployment has been a big concern for the government and every necessary actions are being considered,” he said.

The minister said the government remains committed to creating 100 percent employment as pledged.

“However, the unemployment allowances could not be provided, as it was not found feasible,” he said.

Lyonpo Ngeema Sangay Tshempo said that if such practices were exercised, a temporary idleness would set-in the mindset of jobseekers and discourage people from seeking employment. “It would also hamper the country’s economy and we couldn’t have been able to sustain such practices in the long run,” he said.

The minister informed the House that the ministry therefore, opted for a middle path wherein several employment schemes were introduced such as the guaranteed employment schemes and the TVET programme. Lyonpo also added that a total of 16,344 individuals were employed through the various programme.

He added that to date, the government has achieved 97.5 percent employment rate and the remaining 2.5 percent were those individuals dropping out of class X, XII and graduates who had completed their trainings.

According to the labour ministry’s report, the national unemployment rate has decreased by 0.3 percent in 2014 from 2013. The female unemployment rate stood at 3.5 percent, while the male unemployment rate is 1.9 percent.

The report also states that the youth (15-24 years) unemployment rate has also decreased by 0.2 percent from 9.6 percent in 2013 to 9.4 percent in 2014.  The female youth unemployment rate is 10 percent and the male youth unemployment rate is 8.6 percent.

Younten Tshedup