College and Career Readiness
Youth unemployment has become one of the most pressing social issues in Bhutan. Bhutan’s youth unemployment rate is estimated at 11.9 per cent in 2019, according to the Labour Force Survey Report (LFS) 2019, the National Statistics Bureau (NSB).
As per NSB’s May 2020 publication on “Determinants of Youth Unemployment in Bhutan”, one of factors affecting youth unemployment is the mismatches between jobs and skills and high levels of work interest uncertainties. This in turn, has caused delay in the transition from the classroom to a workplace, and lengthened the unemployment period for young people.
Transition from a) post-secondary to tertiary education and b) from tertiary education to employment are a crucial point of time for young people. These transition periods give young people the opportunity to consolidate skills, develop a sense of job-readiness, and make decisions about their career paths. However, the gap in career guidance provided by schools traditionally is not sufficient.
Effective career guidance targeted towards individuals in both post-secondary and tertiary levels can ease this gap. In addition, career guidance helps identify the personal goals and interests of youth, provide skill development, and explore existing opportunities for both further education or transition into employment.
This platform is providing high school and college students workshops that will help them get a sense of their interests and skills, as well as learn about college and career planning. The project aims to target young people ages 16 to 25 years old, but we are currently working with high school students (16 to 18 year olds).
We aim to provide students with insights into career possibilities, assist students to prepare their transition from the classroom to the workforce, help them develop non-technical skills and improve their leadership and communication skills through interactive workshops.
We started the program in July 2020 and conducted one physical workshop in November 2020 with a local highschool. Due to the pandemic and lockdown, we moved online and have led two virtual workshops in collaboration with inetrnational certfied school/college counselor volunteers in 2021.