Enter workforce now, support industry, deputy minister urges voctech graduates

National 2 minutes, 18 seconds

BELAIT

GRADUATES of technical and vocational schools should enter the industry immediately so that they can gain more exposure and experience and become professional workers.

The advice came from Deputy Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Hj Yusoff Hj Ismail who visited two technical and vocational schools in Belait, yesterday.

“Our country is in need of many local, skilled workers to fill in the demand of the industries and we believe that graduates from technical and vocational schools can fill in the demand and contribute in the country’s economy.”

Dato Hj Yusoff said more than half of technical and vocational graduates preferred to further their tertiary education.

“I do not want to discourage students pursuing their tertiary education (and) having a Masters or PhD, but we also need professionals and skilled workers in technical industries with industrial experience to support the industry,” he said.

“We need to change society’s perception that technical and vocational educations are last options for students who failed to get place in universities. Instead these skilled educations provide opportunities in many areas where they can aim to be professionals.”

He added graduates from technical and vocational institutions will be able to contribute in both heavy and light industries which will help in boosting the socio-economy of Brunei Darussalam.

Yesterday, Dato Hj Yusoff and the delegation from Brunei Darussalam Technical and Vocational Educational Council (BDTVEC) visited Jefri Bolkiah Engineering College and Sultan Bolkiah Vocational School in Belait.

The visit was to learn about the implementation of the programmes offered at the institutions, which included technical, business, information technology and communications.

It was also to give opportunity for the institutions to interact and provide further information on the programmes to the council.

“Presently, the Technical Education Department is in the midst of undergoing a transformation whereby all existing programmes are re-organised and changed in stages. Our aim is to set up a mega-campus for technical and vocational education by 2018,” he said.

Dato Hj Yusoff said the transformation was crucial as the council itself was manned by representatives from different industries and components such as energy, mechanical, information technology and business.

He said new programmes have been introduced at both technical and vocational institutions such as Energy Industry Competency Framework/ Brunei Technical Education (EICF/BTE) with Higher National Technical Education Certificate (HNTec) and National Technical Education Certificate (NTec).

These programmes focused on skills that were needed in the oil and gas industry, to give more opportunities for the local youths.

One of the new programmes that had been recently introduced was the Brunei Marine Academy at Jefri Bolkiah Engineering College.

Also present during the visit were Ministry of Education Permanent Secretary (Higher Education) Dato Paduka Dr Hj Zulkarnain Hj Hanafi, members of BDTVEC and ministry officials.

The Brunei Times