Political parties promise targeting unemployment and sports development

With the Primary Round of National Assembly Elections just five days away, many concerns were raised about the alarming youth unemployment in the country. As parties woo voters, young people have not been left behind in their promises. From skilling youth to addressing unemployment to helping young entrepreneurs, of promises to expand sporting infrastructure to supporting Bhutanese athletes, a lot is on offer. But will it sway votes? We will see on 30th November.      

The Bhutan Tendrel Party, Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa, Druk Thuendrel Tshogpa, and the People’s Democratic Party are all promising upskilling youths to address youth unemployment and supporting young entrepreneurs in the country.

The Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP) plans to introduce a Youth Engagement Platform under the Prime Minister’s Office to solve youth-related issues.

The BTP also commits to review the National Youth Policy 2011 for collective attention and action.

Likewise, the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) pledges to strengthen the Integrated Facilitation Service Centre to provide one-stop-shop services to youth for all their needs.

The DNT also pledges to ensure that Bhutanese working overseas are not exploited in coordination with Bhutanese Embassies and Consular offices.

On the other hand, the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) pledges to reduce general and youth unemployment to 2.5 per cent and five per cent respectively by funding, training, and providing mentorship to youth.

The DPT also plans to roll out entrepreneurship programmes to empower youth by enabling them to start their own businesses.

Similarly, the Druk Thuendrel Tshogpa (DTT) plans to establish one international standard Technical Vocational Education and Training, TVET, institute for youth skills development.

The DTT is also offering red carpet scheme for Bhutanese in foreign countries to invest in the country.

And finally, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has committed to equipping 60,000 youth with essential skills in various trades and professions.

The PDP commits to establishing a Youth Centre in every district, which will support employment of every youth.

Meanwhile, all the five parties show support for the development of sports facilities in the country.

The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa and the Druk Thuendrel Tshogpa pledge to establish four regional sports centres.

On the other hand, the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa, and the People’s Democratic Party promise to support participation in both national and international sporting events.

Similarly, the Bhutan Tendrel Party commits to introducing specialised academy or school for sports in strategic locations.

The Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa promises to establish additional sporting academies and build partnerships with sporting academies.

The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa assures to invest in public sporting facilities and take recreational facilities on public-private partnership model.

The Druk Thuendrel Tshogpa commits to start scholarships in sporting fields and promote sporting activities through decentralised local grants.

And, the People’s Democratic Party commits to sustaining sports clubs and train players.

With youth unemployment at an all-time high of 28.6 per cent and many young people looking abroad for employment opportunities, only time will tell if political promises can help Bhutan take advantage of its demographic dividend. As for sports, choosing sports as a career option is still not really an option in the country.

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