The Colombo Plan Staff College for Technician Education (CPSC) in cooperation with the Department of Human Resources (DHR), Ministry of Labour and Human Resources (MoLHR), Government of Bhutan conducted an In-Country Program on Developing Generic Skills for Employment Mobility in Thimphu, Kingdom of Bhutan from October 7 to 11, 2013. This is in line with the continuing commitment of CPSC to its member countries in facilitating the capacity building activities, with the need to keep them updated with industry demands and expectations in the workplace specifically on the development of generic competencies.

The objectives of the program are to: (1) enable the participants to define generic skills for employment mobility; (2) explain the purpose of generic skills for employment mobility; (3) understand the importance of generic skills for employment mobility; (4) develop and enhance basic knowledge on various generic competencies needed in the employment landscape mobility; and (5) design a suitable generic competency program for TVET teachers and students.

A total of 27 TVET educators and officials from different TVET sectors and institutions representing their respective districts and offices in the country participated in the program.

The program was formally opened by the Chief Program Officer of Training and Professional Service Division, DHR- MoLHR, Mr. Sangay Dorji. In his opening speech, he expressed his sincere gratitude to CPSC for being a good partner in guiding TVET sectors through effective conduct of capacity building programs. He cited that the chosen topic is fitting for the global orientation of training skills since the one they presently provided is not sufficient for the knowledge-based competencies especially for the youth. He stated that the main reason for unemployment is the gap between graduates and the labour market, with this he conveyed his hopes that technical training institutes (TTIs) in Bhutan may provide generic skills as value addition to the core skills and knowledge being currently offered by these institutes. He shared that the concern on preference of the country’s industry for various generic skills to facilitate a faster knowledge transfer and ensure efficiency and excellence in operations is largely part of the country’s national strategy/program. Thus, he encouraged participants to formulate generics skills in Bhutan TTIs through the action planning.

In response, Dr. Mohammad Naim Yaakub, CPSC Director General expressed his confidence that the program will achieve its intended objectives and will reach a high degree of satisfaction among participants. In his speech delivered through video chat, he recognized that about 2 billion people of working age are unemployed in the broad sense and in particular the women and youth have enormous difficulties in entering the job market. CPSC and MoLHR have jointly agreed to conduct the program as a way to address these problems and increase the knowledge on the importance of generic skills for employability.

The program was jointly coordinated by Dr. Godelyn G. Hisole, CPSC Faculty Specialist and Mr. Karma Dorji from the Training and Professional Services Division of MoLHR.

Program organizers from CPSC and MoLHR with ICP participants during the opening ceremonies

Dr. Godelyn Hisole (standing), CPSC Faculty Specialist, presents the program requirements to the participants

Dr. Naim Yaakub, CPSC Director General (on screen projector), delivers his message through video