Employment: Twenty-six-year-old Thinley Wangmo has just returned from Thailand. Unlike most graduates, Thinley Wangmo did not have to struggle to find a job after graduating.

Right after her engineering course, Thinley Wangmo was selected as a contract teacher for two years in Thailand under the overseas employment scheme of the labour ministry.

Reintegration into the Bhutanese labour market for Thinley Wangmo was comfortable. She was immediately selected for a software design training with Southtech (Bhutan) Pvt Ltd at the IT park in Thimphu under the Graduates Skill Programme (GSP) of the labour ministry.

Along with Thinley Wangmo, 25 information and technology (IT) graduates completed a six-month training in software development, which included three months of “real-time” programming experiences.

The 25 graduates will start working for Southtech (Bhutan) starting today.

The information and communications minister, DN Dhungyel awarded the graduates with certificates along with an employment agreement for five years with the company.

Ngawang Zepa, a 2015 IT graduate from Sherubtse College is now a junior software developer with the company. The 25-year-old said that the six months training provided him with knowledge that he couldn’t obtain during three years of college.

“In college it was all about securing the pass percentage,” said Ngawang Zepa. “This is reality, and everything has to be professional here for if you miscalculate anything, you lose your job.”

Southtech (Bhutan) is a software developing company, which is a sister company to Southtech Ltd based in Bangladesh. The company opened its branch at the IT park in February, last year.

Under the programme, the graduates are trained in Java, a computer programming language.

“Like every jobseeker I was also insecure when it came to work for a private company,” said Ngawang Zepa. “In reality, private companies are more systematic and professional. I like to believe it is even better than working for a government agency because every time you strive to give your best not only for yourself but for the company.”

The training coordinator, Ash-Shakur Rahaman acknowledged the passion and willingness of the Bhutanese graduates to learn and improve with each project.

“Almost 70 percent of the IT graduates in this batch are good,” said Ash-Shakur Rahaman. “With some additional trainings and guidance, this group should do better than our first batch of Bhutanese employees.”

With 37 Bhutanese employees, Southtech (Bhutan) is the second largest commercial tenant at the IT park. The company currently employs 31 software developers, five business analysts, and one systems administrator.

Younten Tshedup