SONAM PENJOR | Thimphu
To bridge the widening supply and demand gap in the labor market faced by young people, the Digital Jobs Innovation Challenge-II was organized by the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources (MoLHR) in partnership with the De-suung Skilling Program (DSP) and UNDP on 25 October in Thimphu.
A total of 480 youth from across the country took part in the challenge. Among them, around 25 digital savvy youngsters won the Digital Jobs Innovation Challenge-II this year.
This year, the challenge targeted young people who had undergone various skilling programmes through the DSP and the Skills Development Plan of the MoLHR.
The first Digital Jobs Challenge was held last year around the same time. It helped equip 21 young people with digital jobs skills with the much-needed IT equipment, both hardware and software.
The award has also helped some of them kickstart their digital careers, while others were able to scale up what they were already doing.
The Director General of Department of Employment and Human Resources, MoLHR, Kunzang Lhamu said that the idea of the digital job challenge was conceived as a result of the success of the 1st digital job challenge that was conducted in 2021.
“This was one of the recommendations of the system mapping done in various sectors including employment and also the digital jobs in the country developed jointly by the UNDP and MoLHR along with other stakeholders,” the director general said.
She added that the digital job challenge focuses on demand creation and future skilling which basically focus on tapping for opportunities in the ICT sector both inside and outside the country.
However, she said that one have to constantly upscale themselves in order to compete with the digital skilled at the international platform and also to provide quality services.
Over 5,000 young people have received multiskilling instruction from the DSP in the past one and half years, and over 240 different skilling programs have been covered, according to DSP Chairperson Dasho Sonam Kinga.
Dasho Sonam Kinga said, “We are confident that the success of the skilling program will not be denominated only to the numbers and the diversity of the skilling programme rolled out. In fact, what must necessary happen is the transition the youth to pursue meaningful enterprise and self-employment.
Dasho Sonam Kinga added that once they impart the skills if youths are not able to connect them to market opportunities, then that we would have failed. “We have been embarking on initiatives of business ventures starting on the job training.”
One of the recipients of the digital job challenge award shared his opinion of the course’s value in his testimonial. He said that he not only did learn from master trainers, but also had access to the knowledge of his colleagues.
He added that the course is very involved and includes group projects and practical assignments.
Another beneficiary, an IT freelancer, claimed that the skill-development program had greatly impacted his life. From the improvement of his digital skills to the growth of his business, he said it has helped him grow professionally and emotionally.
Meanwhile, UNDP Resident Representative Azusa Kubota claimed that when she arrived here, the digital arena was not a part of the UNDP program.
“When I got the chance to listen to the Royal address during the National Day celebration, I was inspired by His Majesty’s vision. Then the covid-19 pandemic hit the country which have made us all realize the essence of going digital,” she said.
Azusa Kubota added, “We all started off working from home and we learned that we could work from anyplace and use our abilities and equipment to contribute to the advancement of society.”