Over 3,600 job opportunities within Bhutan and overseas were announced at the 15th national job fair yesterday in Thimphu.
The two-day job fair offers over 2,200 job vacancies in the country. About 1,500 job vacancies offered within the country at the fair is from the labour ministry’s direct employment scheme (DES). The rest of the vacancies are in private and corporate firms.
Of the 1,400 overseas job vacancies announced at the fair yesterday, about 700 are by the Bhutan Tourism of School and Hospitality in Bhutan. Companies from Kuwait, India and officials from the language institutes in Japan also offer job opportunities and trainings at the fair.
While thousands of jobs were offered at the fair, most jobseekers said that the jobs didn’t match their education background.
A 2016 graduate from the College of Language and Culture Studies who didn’t want to be named said that he was more interested in administrative jobs. “The jobs here are mostly in technical field.”
Another jobseeker, Kinzang Yeshi raised age limit as one of the challenges while looking for a job in the country.
The 32-year-old political science graduate has been looking for a job for the last four years. “I graduated in 2014 and I have been looking for a job since. There is an age limit for most jobs. I have lost hope now.”
The fair also offered 833 training opportunities in management, tourism sector, technology, and technical trainings.
While unemployment rate decreased from 2.5 percent in 2015 to 2.1 percent in 2016, the youth unemployment rate has increased to 13.2 percent in 2016 from 10.7 percent, according to the draft Labour Force Survey Report 2016.
Department of employment and human resources’ director general, Sherab Tenzin, said that some of the likely reasons cited for existence of unemployment among educated youth are mismatch of jobs and skills, youth’s aspirations and attitude to blue collar jobs, and strong joint family structure.
He said that lack of jobs or want of opportunities were not one of the reasons. “We are particularly excited to report that placing 500 youth in Japan in 2017 represents a major breakthrough in finding a new overseas destination for our youth,” he said.
The two-day national job fair opened with 54 private, corporate, government firms and overseas agencies offering in and overseas job vacancies.
Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said that youth going overseas for work should take the opportunity to learn and gain experience to create opportunities in Bhutan when they return.
He encouraged the youth to understand the type of job offered and its future prospects while visiting the fair.
The national fair yesterday also launched the Bhutan JobSearch app to ease searching information on job vacancies in and outside Bhutan. The labour ministry developed the app.
Senior information and communications technology officer with the labour ministry, Suresh Nepal, said that through the app, a job seeker with the job seeker ID can apply for jobs offered under ministry’s DES. “We cannot say that all the jobs in the country will be in the app but the information with the ministry on job vacancies will be made available.”
Last year, 41 exhibitors participated at the national job fair.