MISSION:“Promote and facilitate gainful employment through provision of effective employment services”
VISION:“Every Bhutanese labour force attains full, decent and productive employment”
- The Department’s efforts will focus on employment promotion. Employment promotion activities will focus on developing an effective employment service, operating as an agent or intermediary between the demand for workers from enterprises, on the one hand, and the supply of job seekers, on the other. This requires the provision of high quality job matching services, based on information obtained during the processes of job-seeker and job-vacancy registration. Career guidance, employment counseling, and support for ‘self-service’ approaches by job seekers to employment opportunities will be encouraged through the provision of direct contact services, print media, and computer-based services.
- Progressively, the employment promotion work within the Department of Employment and Human resources will be assisted by a nationwide computer-based job matching service, supported by more traditional approaches, to facilitate the quickest possible approach to job matching and placement.
- In order to provide the best possible service to both job seekers and employers, a number of regional employment centers will need to be established in locations where a high demand for such services is anticipated. These centers will be designated ‘Employment Service Centers’ and will offer a full range of placement and advisory services to both job seekers and employers, without cost. Each Employment Service Center will offer self-service facilities for job seekers, including access to the Internet, facilities for the preparation of job applications, and access to information on employment and training opportunities. In this regard, each employment service center will have space for information display to encourage job seekers to engage in self-learning concerning employment and vocational training opportunities. These centers will assist in meeting the Royal Government’s objective of taking public services nearer to the clients and prevent youth congregating in Thimphu.
- The Employment Service Centers will provide services for receiving applications for work permits for foreign workers. Procedures will be in place to periodically check whether enterprises employing foreign workers are, in fact, honoring their commitment to train national counterparts.
- The Department will have an important contribution to make in formulating policies concerning employment creation. The prime responsibility for policy formulation in this field will rest with the Ministry’s Policy and Planning Division, but the close relation the Department has with enterprises and workers will enable it to make valuable inputs to employment creation policies. At present we do not have a national employment policy and this is a significant gap in the nation’s policy framework, particularly given the high priority accorded to job creation and stem increasing youth unemployment. Such a policy would need to give particular attention to the issue of foreign workers and clearly indicate what steps need to be taken to ensure that sufficient productive jobs are created to absorb the increasing number of job seekers.
- In time, the Department of Employment and Human Resources could also assume responsibility for the administration of special job creation programs and projects designed to meet the needs of particular target groups as, for example, a youth employment project, or a project for placing disabled persons in productive employment. The Employment Service Centers will make every effort to extend their services to new client groups, particularly disabled persons seeking open employment, and persons seeking information on self-employment opportunities. For persons interested in self-employment, the centers would mainly refer them to other agencies better placed to provide direct assistance.
- In the long run, the Department may need to consider the arrangements for private employment agencies, particularly if they emerge as an active player in job recruitment and temporary employment. The current guidelines concerning employment recruitment agencies contained in the Chathrim on Wage Rate, Recruitment Agencies, and Workmen’s Compensation, will need to be reconsidered.
- Job fairs provide excellent opportunities for enterprises, job seekers, and training providers to come together to share information and thus bring a measure of transparency to the nation’s labor markets. They also provide opportunities for on-the-spot interviews, leading to job offers. The Department of Employment and Human Resources, through its Employment Service Centers, will plan and conduct job fairs and make every effort to enlist the cooperation of private and corporate sector enterprises in such activities.
- In the initial stage of the Ministry’s creation labor market information and research activities will be undertaken within the Department of Employment and Human Resources. Clearly, there is a need to strengthen Bhutan’s information base for decision-making concerning a wide range of employment, human resource and labor policies and their effective implementation.
- Strengthening information base needs to extend beyond conducting more and better statistical surveys, and need to encompass the generation of additional narrative information, the collection and compilation of labor statistics from existing administrative processes, and the development of the capacity to critically analyze and interpret information collected.
- Research on employment and labor issues will be actively pursued, particularly research directed to generating information of practical value for policy formulation, preparing new programs and projects, and program and project implementation and evaluation. The Department will actively encourage education institutions to participate in and support applied research activities on labor and employment matters that will contribute to national progress.
- The collection, compilation and analysis of information will be supported by a system that will enable dissemination of information to users, on a timely basis, and in a form that is easily understood.
- The Department of Employment and Human Resources will develop a system for sharing and disseminating information, and work in close cooperation with other ministries, departments and agencies involved in the collection and compilation of labor and employment information. The Department is expected to become the nation’s recognized and respected focal point for labor and employment information, and serve as the institutional memory of the country’s labor administration system.
- The policy framework for the Department of Employment will be reviewed periodically by the Ministry’s Policy and Planning Division, in consultation with the proposed Labor and Employment Advisory Committee.