… 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒅𝒆𝒄𝒊𝒔𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒔 𝒂𝒇𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒃𝒖𝒅𝒈𝒆𝒕 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒔𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒔, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒖𝒎𝒆 𝒃𝒚 𝒏𝒆𝒙𝒕 𝒇𝒊𝒏𝒂𝒏𝒄𝒊𝒂𝒍 𝒚𝒆𝒂𝒓
The Youth Employment and Livelihood Program (YELP) will be kept on hold. Due to budget constraint YELP will not employ any youth for some time until the release of next financial budget. The next financial year (FY) is expected to start from July, 2023.
The number of job seekers and employers availing the program in the Financial Year (FY) 2022-23 has drastically increased as compared to the past FYs.
An official from Employment Service Division, Department of Employment and Entrepreneurship, Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Employment (MoICE) said, “The program employed 2478 job seekers against the target of 1500 job seekers in the FY 2022-23 which is a 65.2 percent increase from the target set. This can be attributed to the increased awareness of the program among the general public as well as the economic revival after the Covid-19 pandemic. Further, the revision of certain policies such as the standardization of tourism related sectors have mandated these sectors to engage adequate numbers of staff for which they have availed support from YELP. Therefore, the budget allocated for YELP in this FY was not sufficient given the large number of job seekers engaged against the allocated budget.”
Understanding the significance of the program in increasing the employability of the job seekers, promoting entrepreneurship and assisting the private entities, the Department is exploring ways and means to continue the program.
Currently, the Department is exploring additional budget sources and has requested the same to the Ministry of Finance.
“The new program will be resumed as soon as the Department is able to mobilize budget for the same. In the up-coming financial year, the target of 1500 jobseekers has been proposed through trend analysis. In order to avoid such issues from recurring in the future, the Department is also exploring funding from other non-government sources”, an official continued.
The Youth Engagement and Livelihood Program (YELP) was launched in August 2019 and it is one of the key support programs of the Department of Employment and Entrepreneurship to enhance the employability of job seekers in transition from different schools and institutions.
The YELP provides support for the engagement of job seekers in the private and other economic sectors and an avenue for job seekers to gain on-the-job skills and work experience required to enhance their employability.
The program aims to support job seekers, employers and individuals affected by the pandemic. Priority is given to the rehabilitating and reintegrating youth, People with Disabilities (PWDs) and individuals in difficult circumstances.
The program also seeks to provide easy and accessible engagement opportunities for job seekers to exercise their talent and learning in their areas of interest, including self-employment and internships.
The job seekers and the entrepreneurs engaged under the program are provided a monthly allowance of Nu.5000 for duration of 1 to 12 months. The job seekers engaged as interns are supported in government sectors for a duration of 1 to 3 months.
The Department of Employment and Entrepreneurship in collaboration with the four Regional Offices have engaged about 5029 candidates (1879 male and 3150 female) in the 12th Five Year Plan (FYP). In the Financial Year (FY) 2022-23, about 2545 candidates (896 male and 1649 female) were engaged in 1132 different firms. The firms include private sectors, Civil Society Organizations (CSO), State Owned Enterprises, Association and even public sectors/government agencies. From the 2545 candidates supported, 225 were interns and 23 were start-up entrepreneurs while the remaining 2297 were job seekers engaged in private, corporate, CSOs and other sectors.
In the FY 2022-23, 25 new candidates supported were either People With Disabilities (PWDs) and individuals in difficult circumstances or job seekers placed in agencies that support PWDs and individuals in difficult circumstances.
One of the youth job seekers said, “Every time I look at the YELP job listings, I can see a lot of openings at various agencies, but for a lot of the time, there aren’t many opportunities. I was unsure of the cause, but after asking around, I learnt that YELP hasn’t been hiring for a few months.”
“There were just three openings when I browsed the YELP website. Since YELP has ceased support, it is more difficult to find different types of jobs that were formerly the simplest to find,” said Kuenga, a recent graduate.
“When the YELP stopped announcing the vacancies, I thought for once that maybe there are no more vacancies in the country,” another graduate expressed.
One of the owners of private company said, “We have been announcing the vacancies only through YELP, but now that they have stopped for a while, we also put our vacancies on hold too.”
Another Corporate owner said, “YELP is a platform created to help both employers and job seekers. The MoICE offers compensation to those hired by employers under the YELP program. Support is provided for three months to one year which is great support for small businesses like ours.”
“We are passionately waiting for the continuation of YELP very soon. Due to number of vacancies announced there, we can make our choices carefully”, said Sangay, who recently graduated.
As soon as the Department is able to mobilize funding, YELP guarantees that the new initiative will resume soon.