The development of highly skilled, industry-ready local workforce is key to the growth of Brunei Darussalam’s economy. In 2020, over 12,000 newly recruited locals were recorded. A total of 156,200 employed locals were recorded in 2020, up by 8,800 from the previous year according to the Labour Force Survey (LFS) 2020 report.
Established in 2019, the Manpower Planning and Employment Council (MPEC) bears the role in ensuring effective human resources planning and addressing the issue of unemployment in the country. Towards producing an industry-ready workforce, the MPEC collaborates with key agencies and has implemented various initiatives while prioritising employment and local capacity building.
The MPEC through JobCentre Brunei (JCB) has carried out proactive job matching through recruitment fairs, institution outreach and Mukim Connect to ensure that local jobseekers register with JCB for job opportunities and training sessions. Periodical walk-in interviews are also conducted at
The i-Ready Apprenticeship Programme under the MPCE is aimed at those with little or no working experience. It is an 18-month programme that enables graduates to gain work experience and on-the-job-skills, making them more marketable in the job market.
Previously, the programme was only available for Bachelor’s Degree holders or higher. However, it has been extended to Diploma Level 5 and Technical and Vocational Education (TVET).
SkillsPlus, an initiative under the Learn and Skilled Workforce Grown programme, is conducted by the MPEC and supported by the Lifelong Learning Centre (L3C) under the Ministry of Education (MoE). The programme provides funding assistance to local jobseekers, freelancers and employees in the private sector to learn new skills through courses provided by the centre.
As of March 1, 2021, the programme had around 180 courses in 10 elds, attracting 569 locals to enrol in the programme.
In order to meet industry demands, Politeknik Brunei has joined forces with Hengyi Industries Sdn Bhd to introduce new programmes including Diploma Level 5 in Health Science, Engineering, Petrochemical, Technology and Information.
The initiative under the MPEC is aimed at fulfilling the need for human resource development for the second phase of Hengyi Pulau Muara Besar project and achieve Brunei Vision 2035. On completion, graduates will be offered employment by Hengyi Industries, subject to conditions. The programme is expected to produce around 210 graduates annually starting from 2023.
With business activities affected by the pandemic, companies have been advised to upskill or reskill their employees. The MPEC provides specic training – online and handson training – in the form of current needs or a step towards human resource capacity building.
The collaboration also involves partnering with IT companies to provide programmes such as data analytics that will assist the country towards Industrial Revolution 4.0; reskilling and upskilling local tour guides registered with the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT); and training those interested in the food and beverage section.
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