Youth vie for ICT programme places

National 2 minutes, 40 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE second ICT Youth Development Programme is getting ready for the new intake of unemployed youths as the selection process came to a close yesterday.

Hopefuls for the upcoming programme, which is expected to begin early next year, participated in activities for a final selection process at Universiti Brunei Darussalam’s Institute of Leadership, Innovation and Advancement.

The programme’s task force committee was confident that they can repeat the success of the previous intake.

The previous programme had 86 applicants, and almost all had either secured employment or continued their studies since the completion of the six-month programme, said Dk Syaza Nabilah Pg Hj Haris, task force committee member.

Only six participants are unemployed, she added.

“They still keep in touch with us and ask for assistance and also guidance in finding a job or anything about their studies.

“Some of them expressed their desire to continue their studies but were unable to, but it is our job to make sure they do not give up on themselves, we would advise them to get employed for the time being,” said Dk Syaza.

She added that the committee felt it was their responsibility to help former participants.

Previously, the programme required youth to be of 16 to 19 years of age. The committee has widened the age group from 18 to 25 years old.

Despite the change in age group, there is a plan to increase the number of participants for the upcoming intake.

Dk Syaza said she noticed a change between the previous intake and the current hopefuls for next year’s programme, saying that the new applicants were more driven.

“Last year, most of them came at the encouragement of their parents, but this year a lot of them came on their own accord.

“I think it is because they know the outcome of our programme and may have fostered their interest. Furthermore, one of the basic requirements is that they have a drive and enthusiasm for ICT,” she added.

From the programme, Sakinah Dato Seri Setia Hj Adam said there were three predicted outcomes for its participants - to further their studies, gain employment, or become entrepreneurs.

Sakinah, who is also part of the ICT Youth Development Programme task force, said the programme had yet to receive accreditation from the Ministry of Education, but the certification would be internationally-recognised.

“These are basic ICT skills that they can carry on to their studies. If it does not immediately bring them to a high level, it is okay as the skills they learn will enable them to catch up at a fast pace,” she said.

“Either way, it will help them get employed easily or even start their own business. We aim to guide the youth towards becoming entrepreneurs this time around,” Sakinah added.

The programme was aimed at increasing employment opportunities in the ICT field, specifically for those who did not achieve sufficient O levels.

Participants would also undergo three months of apprenticeship with companies.

The programme is a collaboration by the E-Government National Centre, Department of Economic Planning and Development, Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam, and the Ministry of Home Affairs’ Local Work Agency and Workforce Development.

The Brunei Times