KP Sharma

The Youth Engagement and Livelihood Programme (YELP), launched by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Employment (MoICE) in 2019, has been successful in achieving its initial target of engaging and supporting the livelihoods of 6,000 youths in the country.

YELP is a school-to-work transition programme that provides job seekers with opportunities to enhance their skills and work experience. The programme has been revised and expanded in recent years to offer more diverse choices to jobseekers.

For example, some programmes such as youth engagement in agriculture have been extended from one year to two years.

The programme has been successful in helping youths gain the experience they need to find employment in the competitive job market. Lyonpo Karma Dorji, the MoICE minister, said that “Youths find it difficult to find a job without prior experience, so the programme equips them better.”

YELP also helps jobseekers connect with employers. The ministry pays Nu 5,000 to support youths who are newly employed by an employer. This helps to minimise the burden on both the employer and the employee.

In recent years, the government has started to focus more on entrepreneurship programmes. If youths decide to start a business after completing the engagement programme, they are supported with some financial help from the government. Additionally, if the entrepreneurs employ other jobseekers in their business, they are also eligible to claim the financial support.

The government has supported basic entrepreneurial courses for 1,119 SDP graduates and start-up training for 1,586 youths. The other initiative, technical internship programme (TIP), where youths are sent to countries such as Japan and Korea, is also under review.

YELP is a valuable programme that is helping Bhutanese youths gain the skills and experience they need to succeed in the workforce.

The government’s commitment to supporting youth entrepreneurship is also a positive development. With continued support, YELP can help to create a more prosperous and inclusive Bhutan.