Nima | Gelephu
Although the Cabinet approved the technical, vocational and educational (TVET) reform plan in August this year, development challenges on the ground have remained the same, according to private sector representatives and officials involved in the process. business development in Sarpang.
They said TVET graduates wait for vacancies in government agencies while working in private companies with fewer security measures.
Representatives of the private sector also claimed that TVET graduates lack the skills to work with advanced machinery.
They said the equipment and technology used in TVET institutions are outdated.
Private sector representative to the dzongkhag Covid-19 task force Dawa Penjore said the government should move beyond policy interventions on TVET reforms.
He said working with the private sector is the way to go. âMost TVET graduates are employed in government agencies and policy interventions are concentrated on the government side. It did not benefit the private sector.
He also said there has been exponential growth in the private sector, driven by the motives of results and profit. âGovernment growth is linear. Technological progress is rapid in the private sector, while institutes use older technology. It’s a big lag. “
The number of workshops and industries increased in Gelephu after the workshop owners were transferred to the Industrial Service Center (ISC) in Trashiling. The workshops are facing a labor shortage. There are only two or three fully equipped workshops at ISC today.
âWe have tried to employ TVET graduates, but they are not interested,â said Dawa Penjore. Gelephu’s business community says the government should expect to offer incentives to TVET graduates who choose to work in the private sector.
They also said the institutes should collaborate with private companies for training courses.
âThe instructors in TVET institutes lack professional experience. They should deploy people with good experience on a contract basis for practical courses. This is where the private sector can step in, âhe said.
Workshop owners said the government should push private companies that employ interns to prevent them from employing cheap foreign workers who are more skilled than their local counterparts.
Officials from the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) in Gelephu said on-the-job training in private companies was never taken seriously. âThey should allow employers to assist interns. It would help them learn, âan official said.
Sources said the workshops are operated on the basis of a commission between the foreign worker and the owner. âIt is high time that technicians seized the opportunities in the sector. “
The training director of the Jigme Wangchuck Power Training Institute (JWPTI) in Jigmeling, Pelden Tshering, said it was difficult to keep up with market-induced changes in learning equipment and materials.
âOur programs are reviewed every three to five years. Technical training institutes depend on the government budget for equipment and this takes time. Sometimes we have the latest technology and they don’t. These things are not recognized, âhe said.
He said trainees should be able to operate any machinery and equipment once they have learned the basics.
âWe asked the private sector to donate equipment and tools used in the market, but they were not received. These are the end users and they need to be engaged. It’s difficult to constantly change gear, âsaid Pelden Tshering.
A way forward
Pelden Tshering said that JWPTI has launched a dual training program where training takes place at the institute and in companies. âInterns learn practical lessons with private companies and theory at the institute,â he said.
The first group of 27 JWPTI trainees recently completed their training. They were trained in carpentry and masonry.
âThey will be able to use any equipment on the market. Things missed in business are taught at the institute. We are working with large companies for this dual system training, âsaid Pelden Tshering.
The new system should also provide more practice time for trainees. Previously, practical courses for TVET graduates lasted no more than three months and took place mainly during vocational training.
âThe owners don’t take good care of the interns because they don’t have to pay them. Some fail to provide good accommodation, âsaid the director.
Surjash Monger, a TVET graduate working in a workshop in Gelephu, said that currently most of the work is done manually. âWe have been trained to operate a mechanized labor system. The tools are different and we were not able to work as planned, âhe said.
He added that better incentives and bonuses in the private sector could attract more TVET trainees to work with private companies. âThe institutes have started using the latest machines and equipment for training now. “
Edited by Tashi Dema