Strategic interventions for Bhutan’s unemployed youth

Nov 18, 2013

Thimphu, 18 November 2013 – UNDP with the Ministry of Labor and Human Resources (MoLHR) will be organizing the MDG Acceleration Framework (MAF) workshop at Hotel Migmar to prioritize interventions for addressing youth unemployment in Bhutan. 

Bhutan has already achieved several of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and is on track to achieve most targets by 2015. According to the 11th Five Year Plan, the country has continuously demonstrated strong and sustained growth, averaging over 8 per cent over 2008-2012. Poverty was significantly reduced from 36.3 per cent in 2000 to 12 per cent in 2012 and the overall level of unemployment moderated from 4 per cent in 2009 to 2.1 per cent in 2012. 

However, progress has been lagging in a few goal areas including employment, especially among the urban youth. While the overall unemployment rate of 2.1 per cent remains low, there has been a growing concern around issues of youth unemployment among policymakers and the public. The rate of youth unemployment (15-24 years) is considerably higher than the overall rate of unemployment. It is also more pronounced in urban areas compared to rural areas, jumping to 20 per cent and 30 per cent for male and female youth, respectively. Therefore, creating gainful employment for the urban youth, with a focus on quality employment, has become a key priority for the Royal Government as reflected in several planning and strategy documents including the 11th Five Year Plan.

In response, the UNDP and the Royal Government of Bhutan agreed to apply the MDG Acceleration Framework (MAF) as a means to accelerate progress in overcoming youth unemployment, MDG 1, Target 2 (a)—achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people. 
The workshop will discuss and validate the findings as well as advocate for support from the relevant actors for their commitment to address and find suitable interventions for addressing youth unemployment.

Chaired by the Director, Department of Employment, the workshop expects to draw participation from government agencies, CSOs and development partners.