In a move towards generating specialised and skilled human resources in the power sector, Jigme Wangchuk Power Training Institute in Gelephu launched its first three courses on September 5.

The three courses include transmission and distribution lineman, underground cable trenching and jointing, and repair and maintenance of transformers.

While the duration of the transmission and distribution lineman course, which has the highest number of students enrolled at 25, is 14 months, the other two courses are short ones. Underground cable trenching and jointing has six students enrolled for eight weeks. The eight-month long repair and maintenance of transformer course have six students.

Labour ministry’s officiating director of Department of Technical Education, Sangay Dorji, said the trainees are both pre-service and in-service candidates.

While pre-service trainees have completed technical training, the in-service candidates are from Bhutan Power Corporation (BPC), Royal Body Guard (RBG), Department of National Property (DNP), schools and private sectors.

Sangay Dorji said that the skills imparted through the courses are immediately required in the labour market, especially in organisations such as BPC and Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC) and hydropower projects.

He also said that the institute is looking at power utility industries such as Pasakha to employ the graduates.

There are about 40 courses in the pipeline, which will be introduced in phases.

The officiating director said that next year, the institute will introduce six new courses and by 2022 the institute is expected to be fully established and will begin targeting trainees from the region. “By 2023, we expect to enroll trainees from the international market.”

He said that keeping international trainees in mind, the institute would also strive to provide facilities at par with international standards. “This institute is going be a global leader in power training.”

Labour minister Ngeema Sangay Tshempo  who attended the launching, said that the country’s ambitious goal of harnessing 10,000MW of power requires huge manpower. “DGPC and BPC alone have a requirement of 6,500 manpower between 2015 and 2020.”

He said that apart from employment in the hydropower sector, technical graduates of power from the institute could also find jobs in other energy sectors such as the wind, solar and biogas.

The minister said that the government is exploring these alternative sources of power generation, which will also require skilled people to function. “A grand scheme of job prospects is lying ahead for the graduates of this institute.”

The institute has 240 trainees.

Nirmala Pokhrel | Gelephu