Po­lit­i­cal par­ties pledge so­lu­tion for youth un­em­ploy­ment

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Lhakpa Tsh­er­ing

Un­em­ploy­ment is ex­pected to be ad­dressed more se­ri­ously. The four po­lit­i­cal par­ties ob­served that youth un­em­ploy­ment posed the great­est threat to na­tional achieve­ment for which rea­son it needed to be ad­dressed.

Youth un­em­ploy­ment is the great­est chal­lenge to na­tion's de­vel­op­ment. The par­ties which in­cluded Druk Phuen­sum Tshogpa (DPT), Peo­ple's Demo­cratic Party (PDP), Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party (BKP) and Druk Nyam­rup Tshogpa (DNT) have been out­lin­ing their man­i­festos for con­tinue con­cern and fol­low youth un­em­ploy­ment.

The re­cently re­leased 2017 Pop­u­la­tion and Hous­ing Cen­sus of Bhutan 2017 showed the youth un­em­ploy­ment at 2.4 per­cent. The youth un­em­ploy­ment chal­lenge was big­ger for fe­males than their male coun­ter­parts and there was a high rate of job­less­ness and un­em­ploy­ment in ur­ban ar­eas as com­pared to ru­ral ar­eas.

Ac­cord­ing to the par­ties, about 63,000 to 66,000 new job­seek­ers with sec­ondary and univer­sity ed­u­ca­tion are ex­pected to en­ter em­ploy­ment mar­ket in the next five year.

Ahead of the 2018 elec­tions, all four po­lit­i­cal par­ties have iden­ti­fied in­creased in­vest­ment in un­em­ploy­ment, ro­bust tech­ni­cal and vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing (TVET), and pru­dent gov­ern­ment poli­cies as the best poli­cies to deal with the ris­ing spate of youth un­em­ploy­ment in the coun­try.

Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party

In its elec­tion man­i­festo, Bhutan KuenNyam Party pledges that em­ploy­ment cre­ation is its top agenda. “We will ac­cord high pri­or­ity to job cre­ation and op­por­tu­ni­ties for en­trepreneur­ship, cre­ative space and the arts, pro­fes­sional and ca­reer de­vel­op­ment.”

The party would al­lo­cate funds to pro­vide nu­mer­ous startup op­por­tu­ni­ties em­pow­er­ing youth for self em­ploy­ment through in­cu­ba­tion cen­ters in both ru­ral and ur­ban ar­eas, and gain­ful and dig­ni­fied em­ploy­ment through pol­icy pro­mul­ga­tion and fi­nance. “We will in­vest in every young Bhutanese to help them get good jobs both in­side and out­side Bhutan.”

BKP wants to strate­gi­cally de­velop well-pay­ing and dig­ni­fied jobs in both agri­cul­ture and al­lied in­dus­tries. Be­sides, it also promised to pro­vide in­cen­tives for in­te­grat­ing our youth into agribusi­ness value chains, in­clud­ing mar­ket guar­an­tees and in­cu­ba­tion cen­ters.

Ac­cord­ing to the party, they would im­part spe­cial­ized ca­reer learn­ing and skills de­vel­op­ment for short, medium and long term pro­fes­sional and ca­reer de­vel­op­ment in part­ner­ship with the pri­vate sec­tor, and ram­pup ap­pren­tice­ships and men­tor­ing.

The party en­sures to strengthen and in­cen­tivize ro­bust mi­cro, small and medium en­ter­prises (MSMEs) that gen­er­ate jobs and en­hance per capita in­comes through­out the coun­try ac­cord­ing to their com­par­a­tive ad­van­tage. “To­gether with em­ploy­ers, in­dus­try and youth rep­re­sen­ta­tives, BKP will help the young Bhutanese ac­quire skills and progress in their ca­reers.”

To ex­plore and for­mal­ize bi­lat­eral la­bor con­trac­tual ar­range­ments, strengthen and con­sol­i­date Tech­ni­cal and Vo­ca­tional Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing (TVET) cen­ters to train ru­ral youths on farm pro­duc­tion, value ad­di­tion and en­trepreneur­ship, skills de­vel­op­ment and sup­port MSMEs are few among other pledges.

Druk Phuen­sum Tshogpa

Druk Phuen­sum Tshogpa en­sures to pro­vide pro­duc­tive em­ploy­ment for all. De­scrib­ing youth as the great­est wealth of na­tion, the party said the na­tion is faces with a record high un­em­ploy­ment. “We need to ac­cord the high­est pri­or­ity to youth em­ploy­ment and strive to en­sure pro­duc­tive em- ploy­ment for all.”

DPT said, their party would cre­ate a min­i­mum of 120,000 jobs and en­sure em­ploy­ment for all, pur­sue the pol­icy of reg­u­lar em­ploy­ment and de­cent jobs for all.

The party prom­ises to re­vise Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Pol­icy, Labour and Em­ploy­ment Act and Na­tional Em­ploy­ment Pol­icy, and frame a com­pre­hen­sive hu­man re­source de­vel­op­ment pol­icy.

Be­sides, they wants to re­vise FDI Pol­icy to at­tract in­vest­ment and cre­ate large em­ploy­ment par­tic­u­larly in ICT, tourism, hos­pi­tal­ity, agro, cre­ative and green in­dus­tries, and en­act a Tourism Act to pro­mote tourism as a ma­jor sec­tor of em­ploy­ment.

To gen­er­ate em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, the party would es­tab­lish three mega hy­dropower projects, four in­dus­trial es­tates, ad­di­tional IT Parks in a re­gion­ally bal­anced man­ner, one agri­cul­tural bank and one public com-

mer­cial bank, net­work­ing pro­gram with global and re­gional youth fo­rums.

The party would pro­vide spe­cial fo­cus to ac­cel­er­ate the growth of cot­tage, small and medium in­dus­try, fi­nan­cial, fis­cal and tax in­cen­tives to pri­vate sec­tor for em­ploy­ment of youth eas­ily ac­cess to fi­nance for youth in­clud­ing loans without col­lat­eral.

Ac­cord­ing to the party man­i­festo, DPT en­sures to sup­port mech­a­niza­tion and au­to­ma­tion of con­struc­tion in­dus­try and ac­cord sup­port and in­sti­tute spe­cial in­cen­tives and priv­i­leges for em­ploy­ment of youth. The party would pro­vide en­trepreneur­ship, life skills and lead­er­ship train­ings to youth.

To frame poli­cies to en­cour­age and sup­port youth to take up agri­cul­ture and agro-busi­ness, and re­duce se­cu­rity deposits re­quired for stud­ies and jobs abroad like Aus­tralia, Ja­pan, and Canada are their prom­ise among oth­ers.

Druk Nyam­rup Tshogpa

Druk Nyam­rup Tshogpa en­sures bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties, as­sured em­ploy­ment in the coun­try. The party said that they will ac­cord the high­est pri­or­ity in cre­at­ing em­ploy­ment and liveli­hood op­por­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple and en­sure they have a de­cent job. “We will pri­or­i­tize and al­lot the high­est in­vest­ment in em­ploy­ment gen­er­a­tion and liveli­hood pro­grams.”

In its party man­i­festo, the part prom­ises to es­tab­lish an em­ploy­ment and liveli­hood cor­po­ra­tion to em­ploy, con­tract, cre­ate and man­age em­ploy­ment. To achieve full youth em­ploy­ment, DNT pledges to sup­port pri­vate sec­tor to cre­ate 5,000 jobs an­nu­ally with a min­i­mum daily wage in­creased to Nu.450.

If DNT forms the gov­ern­ment, the party prom­ises to make agri­cul­ture at­trac­tive for liveli­hood and em­ploy­ment through our Sonam Gong­phel project, thereby, mo­ti­vat­ing thou­sands to take up farm ac­tiv­i­ties. “Un­em­ploy­ment and lack of liveli­hood op­por­tu­ni­ties for our youth are a ma­jor con­cern lead­ing to de­spon­dence, so­cial dishar­mony and inse­cure fu­ture.”

DNT prom­ises to ex­pand en­trepreneur­ship pro­grams across the coun­try and sup­port in­cu­ba­tion cen­tres with funds and space. “We will guar­an­tee credit, pro­vide in­cen­tives, sim­plify pro­cesses and de- velop schemes to en­able trained en­trepreneurs to start busi­nesses im­me­di­ately.”

The party would es­tab­lish an em­ploy­ment and liveli­hood cor­po­ra­tion to en­sure youth em­ploy­ment and de­velop to en­sure youth are gain­fully en­gaged.

To strengthen and im­prove qual­ity TVET in the coun­try, the party says that the ex­ist­ing in­sti­tutes would be up­graded with bet­ter fa­cil­i­ties and equip­ment to match the best in the world. “TVET in­sti­tutes will be pri­or­i­tized and ex­change pro­grams will be or­gan­ised to im­prove qual­ity of train­ing.”

Ac­cord­ing to the man­i­festo, the party en­sures to train and build skills among youth in col­lab­o­ra­tion with part­ner agen­cies in iden­ti­fied coun­tries with good pay­ing jobs. “Will track the well­be­ing of every Bhutanese sent abroad and pro­vide as­sis­tance wher­ever re­quired.”

Peo­ple's Demo­cratic Party

The Peo­ple's Demo­cratic Party has ac­corded the high­est pri­or­ity on cre­at­ing em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for all. The party en­sures to cre­ate mean­ing­ful jobs for all. “Our as­pi­ra­tion is that every Bhutanese must be gain­fully and mean­ing­fully em­ployed so that they can pro­vide for their chil­dren and fam­i­lies and live ful­fill­ing lives.”

De­scrib­ing youth as a na­tion's true trea­sure and the core so­lu­tions to na­tion's prob­lems, PDP prom­ises to con­tinue to fo­cus on cre­at­ing em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for young peo­ple. “We shall de­velop long term Na­tional Work­force Plan to map jobs and fore­cast the la­bor mar­ket.”

Ac­cord­ing to the party man­i­festo, the party prom­ises to come up with 11 spe­cial flag­ship pro­grams that would spur eco­nomic growth and cre­ate at least 10,000 jobs in the next five years.

PDP also prom­ises to pro­vide un­em­ploy­ment and sus­te­nance al­lowance for youth who have been ac­tively seek­ing em­ploy­ment for over one year and sup­port them through ap­pro­pri­ate mea­sures to get em­ployed.

The party would in­vest in en­trepreneur­ship de­vel­op­ment train­ings to equip youth with nec­es­sary busi­ness skills to ini­ti­ate star­tups for self-em­ploy­ment. Be­sides, they would pro­vide low in­ter­est loans to en­able in­di­vid­u­als to start busi­nesses both in ru­ral and ur­ban ar­eas.

Ac­cord­ing to the party, they want to en­hance so­cial pro­tec­tion and safety net for em­ploy­ees in the pri­vate sec­tor and en­sure all salaried em­ploy­ees are cov­ered un­der the Pen­sion and Prov­i­dent Fund scheme.

To em­power youth with dis­abil­i­ties and en­able them to live with dig­nity through en­trepreneur­ship train­ings, pro­vi­sion of low in­ter­est loans and spe­cial al­lowances would be provided. “We shall pro­vide guar­an­teed jobs for stu­dents and grad­u­ate youth liv­ing with dis­abil­i­ties and youth with spe­cial needs.”

The party also prom­ises to pro­mote and sup­port en­gage­ment of youth in per­form­ing arts and pro­vide fi­nan­cial sup­port for youth mu­sic bands, youth pro­fes­sional sports clubs, and youth in cre­ative in­dus­tries.

PDP en­sures that at least 90 per­cent of the TVET grad­u­ates are em­ployed within six months to one year af­ter grad­u­a­tion. Be­sides, to in­vest in TVET to of­fer a di­verse range of in­dus­try re­lated skills to young peo­ple and in­tro­duce di­ploma pro­grams in the TVET sec­tor and up­grade are their pledges among oth­ers.

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