These include JobCentre Brunei, the I-Ready apprenticeship programme as well as the Capacity Development Centre, to name a few.
The efforts have been paying dividends as the unemployment rate has reduced from 6.7 per cent in 2014 to 6.13 per cent as of May 2017. It is hoped that by this year, the unemployment rate would have dropped to four per cent through the creation of new jobs and local succession of existing jobs.
JobCentre Brunei (JCB) officially began its oper- ations on January 11, 2017. JCB strives to be a “one-stop career centre”, where local jobseekers may utilise available services to help improve their employability and marketability in the job market and where private companies may use its facilities for their local recruitment process.
According to a press release from the EIDPMO in February 2017, the enhancement of JCB is one of the actions put forward by the Manpower Planning Council (MPC) to address the issues of job matching for local jobseekers and to provide assistance for companies in their talent search.
JCB is a platform for the job-matching process, whereby local jobseekers may consult job require- ments and descriptions of vacancies in the private sector which commensurate with their qualifications. To utilise the available services and facilities, local jobseekers need to register online at www.
jobcentrebrunei.gov.bn. Registration counters are also available at JCB, where JCB staff are able to offer a more personalised experience. Additionally, self-service kiosks for those who are IT savvy are also available.
Other services include the availability of counselling sessions to help jobseekers determine the appropri- ate career direction, and improve their employability and marketability in the local job market.
Upskilling programmes on offer include ‘CV Writing and Interview Tips’, ‘Digital Literacy’ and various motivational talks. Local jobseekers may also con- sult JCB for relevant apprenticeship opportunities.
Aside from its programmes and services, JCB also provides jobseekers the opportunity to undergo online training, especially for those who do not have the convenience of having computers at home.
Interviewing rooms, meeting rooms and auditorium facilities for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) are available to be used in the process of recruitment-related activities, development of local jobseekers and staff engagement.
In addition to providing services to jobseekers, JCB also functions as a monitoring agency for the mandatory registration of companies, job vacancies in the private sector and local jobseekers, which is hoped to improve local recruitment in the private sector.
There are registration counters available for compa- nies to directly register to the system and post job vacancies.
Prior to any applications for ‘Foreign Worker Permit’ (LPA) being made, all jobs in the private sector are to be advertised in the JCB system first. This is to provide employment opportunities to registered local jobseekers in the JCB system. According to the JCB website as of December 16, 2017 there are 12,965 registered jobseekers and 8,656 registered companies.
An apprenticeship programme called I-Ready was introduced in 2017 with the aim of enhancing the marketability and employability of young jobseekers.
The three-year apprenticeship scheme commenced on April 1, 2017, and acts as a platform to expose graduates to various industries in both the public and private sectors.
According to information from the Manpower Policy and Planning Unit (MPPU), EIDPMO, throughout the three years, apprentices will be coached and men- tored to ensure their development meets industry needs and their capability development will be monitored regularly. Host organisations are given the option to permanently employ apprentices at any time.
I-Ready has a number of objectives. One such objec- tive is to provide opportunities for graduates to gain skills and experience in a real working environment, as well as to provide authentic learning opportuni- ties and on-the-job training.
The programme also aims to increase the marketa- bility and employability of graduates. At the same time, it can benefit the host organisation in terms of succession planning of upcoming retirees in the next three years.
Under the programme, the government will provide a monthly allowance of BND800 to selected gradu- ates for a maximum period of three years. In addi- tion, apprentices are required to join the Employees Trust Fund (TAP) and Supplemental Contributory Pension (SCP) schemes.
To be eligible for the I-Ready Apprenticeship Programme, applicants must be citizens or perma- nent residents of Brunei, must at least be degree graduates who are registered at JCB, have little to no working experience and be currently unem- ployed, while there is no age limit.
Applicants must ensure they are registered as job- seekers at JCB, where apprenticeship slots will be advertised. All applications will be screened, and shortlisted candidates will be interviewed for final selection.
Meanwhile, companies wishing to participate will first need to register at JCB. They then have to sub- mit their employment requirements to the MPPU along with documents such as job title, number of slots available and job description.
Apprenticeship vacancies will then be posted on JCB, after which companies will shortlist candi- dates who have applied for the I-Ready positions. Shortlisted candidates will then be interviewed by a panel consisting of the host company’s members and a JCB representative, and successful candi- dates will be offered an apprenticeship contract.
Apprentice assessment will be carried out both pre-assignment and during assignment. In pre-as- signment, companies screen all applications and shortlist candidates, before apprentice interviews are conducted using the selected attributes and structured interview assessments as provided by MPPU. Apprentice contracts are prepared using a template provided by the MPPU, once a successful apprentice has been identified.
During assignment, companies are to develop clear tasks and targets for the apprentices as well as a structured development programme for them. They will also need to assign a coach and/or mentor to the apprentice, while also completing a progress report every six months, which is to be shared with the MPPU. Apprenticeship opportunities will be available for all sectors throughout the year and advertised via JCB.
MPPU will make a methodology template and pro- cess available for the perusal of host companies. At any time during the three-year duration, the appren- tice may be assessed for permanent employment. Upon successful assessment and being offered permanent employment, apprentices will not be subjected to further probationary period, as the pro- gramme will have already served this purpose.
JCB also conducts briefings for graduate jobseekers and companies alike to inform them about what the I-Ready programme entails and the opportunities it presents.
The Capacity Development Centre (PPK) is a mul- ti-programme vocational skills training centre operated by EIDPMO. Programme delivery is done by Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) based on approved syllabus adapted from international train- ing or leading industry institutions.
As stated on the EIDPMO website, the vision of PPK is to become the blueprint, model and leader in vocational skills training to enable a competent national workforce in Brunei. Its mission is to pro- duce job-ready prospects through the alignment of skills and industrial development in the country.
It is part of Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd’s (BSP) social investment contribution to realise the country’s capacity development strategy. BSP has supported the major development of the training facilities.
The main objective of the centre is to increase employability of local jobseekers by offering training programmes that are driven by industry demand and certified by industry standards, according to a press release from the EIDPMO. The centre’s programmes will also include re-skilling and up-skilling courses allowing trainees to gain the competencies required by the job market.
Among the programmes available at PPK include: blaster painter, heavy vehicle driver, insulator, marker fitter, mason, mechanical fitter, scaffolder, steelcraft, welder, woodcraft, instrument mechanic, electric mechanic and rigger.
In January 2018, 619 PPK trainees gained employ- ment at Hengyi Petrochemical Plant at Pulau Muara Besar (PMB).
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