Technical Training Institute in Chumey and Jigme Wangchuk Power Training Institute in Gelephu, will pilot a dual training programme by adopting a 30 percent institute based and 70 percent industry based training system from August this year.

This was discussed during a multi-stakeholder platform for Dual Training Program (DTP) in Thimphu, yesterday. The project is implemented by the Ministry for Labour and funded by HELVETAS.

The project is expected to strengthen access to Technical and Vocational Education and Training, (TVET) optimise the facilities of Technical Training Institutes (TTIs), provide relevant and quality training, enhance skilled labour forces, enhance cooperation between industries and institute and strengthen public private partnership.

Program analyst with the TVET professional service division with the labour ministry, Karma Dorji, said the labour ministry gets a lot of complaints from industries saying that the graduates from TTIs are not up to their mark. “So, this project comes in as an attempt to close the gap between the skill supply from the institutes and the demand from the market.”

The program will have pilot TTIs focusing more on industrial training and less on institutional based training, as is the trend today.

For instance, today, trainees in masonry spend three months in industrial training and rest of the months at the institute. With DTP, the trainees will spend seven months in the institute and 16 months with the industry.

According to Karma Dorji, the course duration might increase depending on the complexity of the course and the need of the students.

The ministry has identified three partnering companies for the pilot project of 60 trainees – the National Housing Development Corporation Limited (NHDCL), Construction Development Corporation Limited (CDCL) and a private company – Gyeltshen Wood Industry.

It will be piloting two occupations – construction carpentry and masonry from August to trainees from the two pilot schools.

Curriculum for DTP has been developed and 20 skill supervisors are trained to mentor and assess trainees and to develop a training plan. “Thus, the industries are also trained on how to achieve the goal of the DTP and its outcome,” Karma Dorji said.

Once implemented the dual training programme will increase the enrolment and carrying capacity of the TTIs.

Karma Dorji added that, trainees would be exposed to the real world of work situation. They will also have more access to modern equipment in the industry than at the institutes, he said.

Until now, he said, stakeholders responsible for promotion of the TVET sector had been working in isolation.

If DTP is to be implemented effectively, there is a need to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the institutes and the industry according to a TTI trainee. “With no clarity on working hours and environment, trainees might face exploitation,” he said.

Owner of JB Solar Solutions, a private company also shared the need for a MoU. He said TVET graduates working for private firms do not stay for long and are on a look out for jobs in the public sector. “They see private sector as a short term skill enhancement place and leave it as soon as they find something else to do,” he said.

Esori Waglay