There was a time when you did not have to worry about getting a job. You only had to finish school or graduate with a degree. There were always jobs available.

We are living in a very different time today. Jobs in the government sectors are becoming scarce year after year. Our private sector is too small and weak to be able to create employment opportunities. Thousands of young people graduate from colleges and universities every year. Soaring youth unemployment is one of the major problems facing the country today.

We are now hearing that graduates from teacher training colleges too are finding it difficult to get a job. But no government ever deluded teacher trainees. That is the most puerile and fatuous of arguments we are now hearing from people in the government. Do we shut down teacher training colleges because we now have enough teachers? Do we actually have enough teachers?

When we have more jobseekers than available jobs, some will end up being unemployed. It is our attitude that needs changing as we face a new reality today. People still prefer government jobs to private. And that is causing the problem of rising unemployment in the country.

Private sector growth should mean more than just words. For far too long it has been a vain promise. Unless there is a significant private sector growth, we will continue to face the issue of rising unemployment. Youth unemployment, if not addressed aptly and expediently, can add tremendous burden to the nation.

For the many young people who will soon graduate and will look for employment, government sectors have not much to offer. Private sector as yet is not in the position to create so many employment opportunities. Our young people need to be creative and look beyond civil service.

At the same time, school and college curricula should prepare students to start their own businesses and the government should encourage them with more loan facilities and incentives. It is not enough that we tell them to be creative. We must create opportunity for them to be able to do so.

It is teacher graduates looking for employment today. Same could happen to the graduates of College of Natural Resources and Faculty of Nursing and Public Health tomorrow.

Perhaps this is a good time for us to build a society of honest and hard working entrepreneurs. We must take advantage of the difficult times we are facing today. All these happening, our children and our children’s children will have plenty of jobs when they graduate from colleges and universities.

Perhaps this is a good time to create new and ever more prosperous Bhutan.