The costs will be shared with the labour ministry
IT Park: The labour ministry and Shaun communications Bhutan pvt ltd, one of the companies to have signed a lease agreement with Thimphu TechPark, the developer and operator of the IT park, signed an agreement to train 200 Bhutanese jobseekers yesterday.
Shaun Communications, a business processes outsourcing (BPO) company based in Kolkata, India, will undertake the training of the 200 jobseekers of class XII and above and the costs will be shared with the labour ministry.
The cost of training one trainee will be Nu 8,000, which would be Nu 1.6M for 200 trainees. They will be trained in ‘on call’ and ‘off call’ BPO processes.
The trainees will be assessed after an initial training of two months, and those successful will be given on-the-job training for the remaining two months, and will be employed by the company as regular employees.
A labour ministry employment officer said the ministry had to step in and assist Shaun Communications in creating the required talent pool to prevent the company from pulling out of the IT park and as a result of government concerns about unemployment in the country. The employment officer added the company had difficulty in finding and acquiring the required talent pool.
Shaun Communications started business operations in October last year, but laid off all its locally recruited employees about a month into operations, citing their unsatisfactory job performance despite some of them having undergone training in India with major IT firms under the labour ministry’s private sector development project.
The labour ministry signed a compact with the government in 2008 to train not less than 2,500 youth for the IT Park.
The employment officer also pointed out that it is a challenge to find the required talent because the job requires employees to undertake a night shift, as the company’s clients are in the USA, Europe, in addition to Hong Kong. The officer said locals are reluctant to work at night.
The employment officer said that if the company is successful with its initial 200 recruits, between 500-700 jobs will eventually be created. The officer explained that this is because the company would require three groups working eight-hour shifts.
Shaun Communications has leased 10,000 sq ft at the IT Park for a period of a year.
Besides Shaun Communications, the other company to have signed a lease agreement with Thimphu TechPark is ScanCafe, a US based company.
The ‘warm shell’ of the IT park was inaugurated in November 2011. However, the government will also now be bearing the expenditure of further developing this warm shell, by providing wiring, flooring, ceilings, and walling for both tenants.
Under a World Bank grant, the government will also be providing work stations for ScanCafe.
This will all be in addition to other incentives such as a telecom subsidy.
By Gyalsten K Dorji