Fur­ni­ture houses face short­age of skilled work­ers

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Deki Lha­zom

The min­istry of labour and hu­man re­sources called for a meet­ing with fur­ni­ture mak­ing stake­hold­ers in Thim­phu last Tues­day.

The meet­ing saw fur­ni­ture mak­ing agen­cies and the min­istry com­ing to­gether to es­tab­lish strong link­ages be­tween the fur­ni­ture mak­ing houses and the min­istry. The min­istry of labour and hu­man re­sources, Ly­onpo Ngeema San­gay Tshempo said that the meet­ing was mainly to study the em­ploy­ment prospect in the fur­ni­ture mak­ing houses, to study the types of skills re­quired by the fur­ni­ture mak­ing houses and to study and draw train­ing pro­grams as per the re­quire­ment of the fur­ni­ture mak­ing houses.

The fur­ni­ture in­dus­try seems to be em­ploy­ing less Bhutanese work­ers com­pared to other in­dus­try in Bhutan. It is ob­served that most of the fur­ni­ture mak­ing houses takes in non na­tional work­ers as it is found very less num­ber of skilled Bhutanese who could ac­tu­ally make fur­ni­ture. In an av­er­age each fur­ni­ture house em­ploys 6 per­sons.

Ly­onpo added that youths should un­dergo train­ings and be­come skilled in or­der to be em­ployed to­day. He shared his con­cerns over grow­ing num­ber of for­eign work­ers be­ing re­cruited in fur­ni­ture mak­ing houses.

‘’On one hand our youths are un­em­ployed and on the other we have for­eign re­cruits which should be some­thing we all should think about it,’’ said the min­is­ter. He also told the fur­ni­ture mak­ing agen­cies that it is im­por­tant that the min­istry and the stake­hold­ers work closely to reach a proper con­clu­sion. He also said that the min­istry could al­ways sup­port the agen­cies by pro­vid­ing train­ings and all.

Ac­cord­ing to the min­istry, there are a to­tal of 252 li­censed fur­ni­ture mak­ing houses in the coun­try. How­ever, there are no fur­ni­ture houses in Gasa, Trongsa and Lhuentse dzongkhags. Paro Dzongkhag has the high­est num­ber of fur­ni­ture houses (52) in the coun­try fol­lowed by Thim­phu(47) and Ch­hukha (47). Nev­er­the­less, Thim­phu has the high­est num­ber of func­tional fur­ni­ture house (85) fol­lowed by Paro and Ch­hukha with (73) and (40) re­spec­tively.

A sur­vey con­ducted by the De­part­ment of Labour, un­der the Min­istry of Labour and Hu­man Re­sourses in 2015 re­vealed that out of 903 work­ers, 485 were Bhutanese and 418 were for­eign work­ers. The min­is­ter said that th­ese find­ings were quite a thing to worry.

The find­ings fur­ther re­vealed that the fur- ni­ture mak­ing houses re­quired an ad­di­tional man­power of 486. Out of 252 fur­ni­ture houses in the coun­try, it was found out that only 183 are op­er­a­tional and 69 are non op­er­a­tional.

The min­istry how­ever said that they are look­ing for­ward to helps agen­cies re­cruit Bhutanese skilled work­ers which would not only help in youths get­ting em­ployed but also fur­ni­ture mak­ing houses to have peo­ple to work for.

Cur­rently, there are only two in­sti­tutes in the coun­try which house trainees for fur­ni­ture mak­ing, one in Chumey in Bumthang and the other in Rangjung in Trashigang.

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