Saving grace for a young group of people

The group of proud ladies

SHERAB DORJI

Thimphu

The youths of the country are very much thankful to the His Majesty The King and the Government during this time of pandemic as they are able to live a normal day which was very much unexpected for them.

Tshering Gyem, 25 years old, says she lost her job due to the Covid-19 pandemic which left her into worries as she being the eldest daughter lost her only job until she took part in Build Bhutan Project (BBP).

She said, “BBP has saved me from being penniless, moreover I earn more from the previous work.” We can choose our own interest for BBP training which is possible for a women like us, she further added.

Tshering Gyem gets a stipend of Nu 6000 from BBP and Nu 6000 from her company, VAJRA Builder Private Limited and also they get over time (OT) wage of Nu 500 per day from their company. “I get about Nu 25,000 including my OT and stipend from BBP per month.”

“After I got laid off from my previous job, BBP gave me lots of opportunity whereby I could explore beyond my profession,” says 36 years old, Dema.

Tshewng Choden, 21 years old said, “BBP is an opportunity where I could explore and learn new things.”

The pandemic has created a huge employment gap in construction sector.

Therefore, as an immediate intervention for the rising concern, BBP is being initiated and implemented by Ministry of Labour and Human Resources (MoLHR) over a period of two years to address unemployment rate and filling the gap in the construction sector.

Karma Wangdi, 22 years old said, “Before the pandemic, I use to work as a helper for wall construction.” I am currently constructing a wall which I got for contract where I earn more than I use to be a helper before, he further added.

One of the contractors, Thinley Jatsho, 32 years old said, “Before the pandemic, it was very hard for a small contractor like us to get the contract works but with the pandemic, we can easily get the contract works.”

“Our Bhutanese youth are very much energetic. I have workers as young as twenty one years to twenty seven years old,” Thinley Jatsho further added.

“Instead of chasing for a white collar job, blue collar job also earns as high as that of civil servants whom am thankful to Thinley Jatsho,” said the employee of Thinley Jatsho.  

The ministry has also involved in the implementation of the Royal Kidu Programme which was launched on 14th April 2020.

Phuntsho Wangmo, 25 years old said, “Am grateful to His Majesty The King and the Government for the Kidu fund as I lost my previous job.” “I am currently doing farming works with my parents and I wish to continue as it generates more income than my previous job,” she added.    

Currently the youth unemployment rate in the country is 12 percent where by the end of 12th Five Year Plan, the government targets to maintain 6.5 percent of youth unemployment in the country.  

To this, the MoLHR implemented various programs and activities at both national and regional level.

Since 6 March 2020, when a 76 year old American tourist tested positive for the virus in the country the government and the citizen of the country were adversely affected.