Labour ministry plans to facilitate 120 new business start-ups by youth by 2018 to achieve full employment at 97.5 percent as per the 11th Five-Year Plan.

The plan is expected to create around 240 new jobs.

This is the ministry’s commitment as per the annual performance agreement (APA) 2017-2018 signed between Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay and Labour Minister Ngeema Sangay Tshempo on August 4.

The ministry will place 1,500 registered jobseekers through overseas employment scheme, 2,600 jobseekers will be placed through Direct Employment Scheme in various private and corporate agencies and state-owned enterprises.

A total of 930 candidates will be trained through various skills development programmes.

Labour minister said the major components of APA 2017-2018 comprise of three core and two mandatory objectives.

There are 30 success indicators, including three mandatory success indicators, to track and review progress.

The APA demands that ministry fully utilise the budget for 2017-2018 fiscal year, which is Nu 1,038.080 million (M), which the minister said, was an increase of Nu 159.055M from last year. Of the total, Nu 264.704M is slated for current and Nu 773.376M for capital.

“As a change from the past practice, starting from this financial year, the regional directors have also signed APAs with labour secretary,” the minister said. “This is because the regional offices are representatives of the ministry and perform duties and provide services related to all departments under the ministry.”

The ministry will inaugurate Jigme Wangchuk Power Training Institute at Dekiling, Sarpang with three different courses to improve quality and relevance of TVET.

The minister said a long-term course on the transmission and distribution lineman, two-short term courses on underground power cable trenching and laying, and another on repair, maintenance and commissioning of transformer will also begin.

The ministry will also inaugurate Rigney College in Trashiyangtse by the end of August and launch three new courses – Lhadri, Jimzo, and Patra.

To improve the working environment in the private sector, the minister said the Labour and Employment Act 2007 would be implemented.

The minister said the ministry also plans to take measures to introduce provident fund and ensure that at least 65 percent of the employees of private and corporate sector have the scheme by 2018.

“Apart from working on the plans and programmes, we have already started the preparation of 12FYP,” minister said.

The minister also highlighted the major achievement for the financial year 2016-2017 as signed in the APA where the ministry was allocated with total budget of Nu 879.025M. He said ministry placed 1,524 jobseekers through overseas employment scheme implemented by the ministry and agents. The total placement has reached till 3,962 as of now.

“We placed 1,605 jobseekers through direct employment scheme in 2016-2017,” minister said, adding that total of 5,096 jobseekers have been placed through this programme since 2014.

The ministry helped 123 youth establish business that created about 419 jobs. A total of 2,232 candidates have been trained through various skills development programmes.

“We’ve reviewed and approved 84 internal service rules during the last financial year, totaling approved service rule to 461,” minister said. “Today, about 49,874 of the 82,369 workers in the private and corporate sector have PF scheme.”

Yangchen C Rinzin