Robust Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) systems are frequently viewed as the answer for the nation’s unemployment issues as well as for economic development.
On February 17, the fourth convocation for graduates of technical and Zorig Chusum Institutes from the 2016–2020 academic years was conducted. Just 516 of the more than 2000 graduates from TVET in those graduating years showed up at the convocation.
Prabhat Biswa, Automobile graduate said, “My long-term goal is to start an automobile business and assist people in auto maintenance. Prior to this, the majority of the workers in the workshop were self-taught, and those using the service were likewise less confident in them. Thus, my goal is to open a technical workshop in every Dzongkhag”.
“I feel happy to be the graduates of TVET because after earning the diploma in TVET, there are opportunities for us wherever we go,” he continued. Going abroad would be a sign that we are ignoring the government’s support for those of us who benefited, as government has invested in our education. It is better to work here because with our skill, we can increase our economic output. Even if we went outside, the task we would be performing would be the same. Government has always been helpful to us, but if wages were higher here, fewer people might leave their jobs. In addition, anytime a TVET graduate submits a proposal to initiate business, government should facilitate and provide necessary supports”.
Carpentry graduate Jamyang Choden stated, “I’ve been employed by Department of Procurement and Properties, Ministry of Finance for over 5 years. I’m always prepared to seize any chance that comes my way. I’ll do my best to compete on an equal footing with all the men, not back down because I’m a girl. I believe that TVET graduates have a lot of opportunities, and that opportunities are growing every year. Nonetheless, most youths are reluctant to accept such position”.
Masonry graduate Passang Tshering said, “I am very keen in improving my talents. I believe that Bhutan offers several opportunities for TVET graduates. Yet, TVET students are frequently seen as underprivileged and ashamed to work in the field. Few people are willing to speak up. There are many opportunities for TVET graduates if the Bhutanese are motivated and willing to work. Before, the Department of Labor would send TVET students abroad to pursue their further education, and I would be interested in that as well. It would be fascinating to see how skilled TVET students from other countries are compared to me”.
He continued, “I feel there would be less TVET graduates traveling abroad if government gave high income for people working in TVET and gave platform to up skill annually”.
The teacher at Zorig, Chusum, Pasang Dorji said, “Until this point, TVET graduates haven’t been able to distinguish themselves in the nation since, in contrast to other graduates, they didn’t have a separate convocation day. The separate convocation for TVET graduates is being hosted in an effort to inspire more young people to pursue TVET. We anticipate that in the near future, there will be a greater numbers of individuals interested in TVET, as well as visitors from outside the country”.
He added, “Before 2022, there were only a few people admitted into training institutes but when the government increased the amount of stipend as assistance, the number of candidates admitted into training institutes also increased. More youngsters would likely be employed if the government continued to promote such institutions, and TVET graduates might enjoy greater recognition”.
According to Jigme Dorji, the division’s chief program officer for training management and coordination under Department of workforce Planning and Skills Development, Ministry of Education and Skills Development, “Although TVET is frequently mistaken with Tibet, it actually refers to technical and vocational education. TVET is significant not just in Bhutan but also in other countries. TVET is crucial for numerous commercial goals in addition to economic development. Bhutan may be forced to rely entirely on other nations if there is no TVET here. If there is no TVET, all the products and labor must be imported from other countries. Even with sufficient funds and no necessary skills, the work cannot be completed. The youth’s technical capacity can only be built through the TVET system”.
He added, “People are aware of the value of TVET but are unsure of how to engage them. Government should be aware that without TVET, the nation will lose out. Education is vital, but so are skill development and training. Without TVET, it is impossible to advance economic development. Giving TVET graduates importance should also be important in order to reduce unemployment”.
“We are strengthening our positive relationships with the public and private sectors in order to provide those graduates with platforms. Also, convocation is one means to inform the public that so many TVET students have graduated. For any skill-building work, both the public and private sectors must rely on our students” he added. “TVET graduates are as good as they are employed because they don’t have to look for a job but the people who require talented individuals come looking for them”.
Minister Karma Dorji, Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Employment said, “The prosperity of nation depends on the presence of skilled workers. Due to the need for trained workers in both the public and commercial sectors, TVET graduates have a variety of employment options”.
“We are giving TVET graduates a lot of options. One of these is Certified Builder, where projects would only go to certified individuals like TVET graduates,” he added.