Tshering Namgyal | Mongar

Fabrication and automobile workshop owners in Mongar are facing difficulty to find skilled workers.

With increasing demand for metal and fabrication works in the locality and also increasing number of vehicles, there is need for skilled labourers, both imported and domestic workers.

The owner of Druk Zen Fabrication and Duekhor Automobile Workshop, Kota, said there has been an increasing demand for steel fabrication works from Mongar and Lhuentse due to development works.

He said that they could not meet half the demand because of lack of skilled workers. “We’ve adequate raw materials but only one wielder in the workshop.”

In the fabrication work, there is high demand for metal window frame, almirah, grill, gate, reeling, and drain cover.

Kota said at least two wielders and two helpers are required to run his fabrication and workshop smoothly. “I also need mechanics and electricians. Many vehicle owners go back frustrated when we are unable to provide fast service.”

He said he was willing to employ any skilled employees with good remuneration should they be willing to work. “I submitted the requirement to the regional labour office in Trashigang.”

According to Kota, he could not import labourer because of the pandemic and quarantine requirement. “I got only one mechanic and wielder.”

He said there are talks that vocational training institute (VTI) graduates are unemployed.  “Why can’t the government intervene?”

He said he pays the Indian wielder a monthly salary of Nu 30,000 a month and could pay national skilled workers similar wages depending on their technical skills.

Mongar has two fabrication centres.

The owner of R Lhamo Fabrication, Kezang Dawa, said the service demand is high for steel window, gate, rod trusses and prayer flags. “But without enough workers, I cannot meet the demand.”

He has only one national skilled worker. “I have lots of work at hand but no worker.”

He also said he said submitted his requirement to the regional labour office in Trashigang but has not received any response.

Kezang Dawa said he pays Nu 25,000 for the wielder. “I am willing to employ Bhutanese VTI graduates if the government provides.”

Similarly, most of the automobile workshops in Mongar industrial area do not have adequate wielder or denter, mechanics and electricians.

Vehicles owners said this not only hamper public service but escalate maintenance and spare parts cost as there is no inspection by the competent authority.

A vehicle owner, Sangay, said workshops take a whole day to detect minor vehicle maintenance that should actually take an hour if there is adequate manpower. “Charges are also not uniform from workshop to workshop. Vehicle spare parts price also differ and are sold much above maximum retail price (MRP) due to monopoly.”

Meanwhile, officials from labour ministry were not available for comments.