English | Dzongkha Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Build Bhutan Project launched today


Jul 1, 2020

Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering launched the Build Bhutan Project along with the Economic Contingency Plan document today. With a budget outlay of Nu 1.04 B, the project plans to employ 7000 unemployed, laid off, and overseas returnees in the construction sector.

The Project is one of the key components of the Economic Contingency Plan to address unemployment and layoffs by filling the gap in the construction sector amid the Coronavirus pandemic. The Government is introducing provident fund and attractive pay package for Bhutanese choosing to work in the construction sector under the Project.

In what is defined as an attractive pay package, an individual willing to work in the construction sector will be offered a minimum monthly wage of Nu 13,200. This includes a 15 percent PF and 15 percent monthly wage top-up under the incentive scheme of the Build Bhutan Project.

Labour Minister Ugyen Dorji, said that unattractive salary and lack of social security and benefits have discouraged Bhutanese to take up work in the construction sector.

“In addition to the salary and PF schemes, the Build Bhutan Project will provide basic personal protection equipment to the workers to ease the employer’s financial burden and to improve the working condition and environment in the construction sector. We are also working with the employers to ensure that employees are provided with accommodation facilities at the worksite as per the minimum prescribed standard,” said Lyonpo.

The Prime Minister also launched an online registration platform for interested job seekers and employers.

The owner of Druk Chapcha Construction Private Limited, Sonam Tobgay was the first employer to register on the online platform. “While it’s evident that COVID-19 has affected all of us, the construction sector is no exception. The sector is struggling with a shortage of workers. And at a time like this, the government’s initiative of the project to provide skills and re-skilling to the aspiring youths will greatly help the construction sector. I am hopeful that I would get skilled Bhutanese workers from the project.”

Sonam Dorji a job seeker was one of the first to register on the platform. “I registered myself as a jobseeker in Build Bhutan Project because it has a lot of inspiring and promising schemes for youth like us and offers us a lot of opportunities,” said Sonam.

The construction sector is among the worst-hit sectors by the global pandemic in the country. As border gates remain closed restricting entry to foreign nationals, a number of construction projects are yet to start and some have come to a halt.

As of June this year, the requirement of foreign workers in the construction sector was about 36,000 and there is a shortage of about 14,500 workers in the sector.

The Government has identified workforce requirements in six fields of plumbing, electrification, carpentry, masonry, traditional painting, and welding in the sector.

Through the project, the labour ministry plans to mobilize, create, and manage a pool of skilled workforce and promote the construction sector as an attractive avenue for employment in the country.

 

Phub Gyem & Sonam Pem

 

 

 

 

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