Chhimi Dema

Covid-19 has hit every sector and as hundreds more have joined the job market, many job seekers are turning to the training programmes to equip themselves with critical technical skills.

The labour ministry’s training programme through the local training institutes expects to fill the gap in critical skills across various sectors.

Job seekers are trained in early childhood care and development, housekeeping, fashion design, culinary arts and baking, bakery and confectionery, information communication technology (ICT) and online freelancing, home appliance and mobile phone repairing.

One of the institutes, Lekdrup Institute provides three skills training (fashion designing, home appliance and mobile phone repairing) to 90 individuals.

Tsheten Dorji, a university graduate from Mongar, is training to repair mobile phones at the institute.

“Understanding and acquiring skills in mobile repair provides endless job opportunities for me,” he said.

Another trainee, Rupan Sharma, a class 12 graduate, said that skills provide better job opportunities in the labour market.

For some the training was an opportunity to pursue their interests in various crafts.

Kelzang Wangmo, 24, said that she was interested in fashion designing since childhood.

She learnt stitching backpacks, purses, jackets and shirts through the training.

“Our country doesn’t have many fashion designers. This training gives me a chance to become one,” she said.

Bhutan Institute of Tourism and Hospitality, is training housekeepers, bakers and those interests in confectionery.

One of the trainees in housekeeping, Karma Euden from Tashigang, said that the trade was considered the backbone of the hotel industry.

She said: “Skills acquired will not only provide me a job opportunity in the country but across the world.”

Ugyen Wangmo, 18, said, “Training in housekeeping provides me to equip myself with skills to provide standard services to others.”

Ugyen said that she was hopeful that this training will make her earn better and live a comfortable life.

Tenzin Dorji, a high school dropout from Punakha, was training in bakery and confectionery at BITH.

He said that the future employment scope in the bakery training was vast with many bakeries and cafe opening in the country.

Ugyen Tenzin, from Paro, said that this training was an opportunity to change his life. For a few years he suffered from drug addiction, he said.

“More than earning for myself, I look forward to helping my parents in the village with their finances.”

Nyima Selden Dorji, a recent university graduate, enrolled in the ICT and freelancing training at the Athang Training Academy. She said that this was an opportune moment to explore her creativity.

She said, “Every day I get excited to attend the class. If one keeps learning in the ICT field, this will give one a livelihood.”

“There are fewer graphics designers in the country which provides me with more employment opportunities,” another trainee said.

There were 20 individuals training at Athang in ICT and freelancing training.

The trainees were provided with a monthly allowance during the training.

The Royal Textile Academy, with support from the labour ministry, will begin a three-month training on weaving (Hor) next month.