Jobs abroad for local workforce abundant

National 2 minutes, 32 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

YANG Berhormat Hj Ahmad Morshidi POKDSDDLU Hj Abdul Rahman in posing questions to the Energy minister asked whether establishing the Energy Service Business Development Unit was intended for the purpose of seeking out businesses catered specifically for services in the energy industry both in and outside of Brunei.

“I raise the question because efforts to increase the number of local staff in the oil and gas industry has been quite extensive as pointed out by the second minister of finance yesterday.” Figures show that under the Energy Industry Competency Framework (EICF) programme introduced in July last year, 482 students signed up and will potentially be employed in the oil and gas sector. Under the oil and gas job fair programme introduced in 2011, to date 1305 and 2595 locals were hired by various employers in the oil and gas sector in 2012 and 2013 with another 3000 job openings offered this year. This totals up to 7379 job openings filled and available for locals.

My question, said YB Hj Ahmad Morshidi, is that “with this development, and the establishment of the Energy Service Business Development Unit at the Energy Department, will the Energy Department provide them with jobs, if the unit manages to acquire such business ventures outside of Brunei?”

“I am concerned that, now that local workforce figures and those who are equipped with skills in the oil and gas industry are increasing, it would be a waste if they are not given the opportunity to serve with the energy department in further developing business ventures overseas which might seem more challenging.

The suggestion connected to this line of questioning, said YB Hj Ahmad Morshidi, is that these locals employees that have excelled in their field of expertise should be given the opportunity to join extended programmes to train them to become entrepreneurs in the oil and gas sector.

In his response to the question and suggestion, the Energy Minister Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamenteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia Hj Mohammad Yasmin Haji Umar said the main task of the Energy Services Business Development Unit is to disseminate and implement instructions for local business development.

“These two responsibilities are focused on increasing local content and ensuring businesses in this sector are operated and conducted in a fair, transparent manner and anti-monopolised.”

“In addressing the issue of whether or not our local workforce is given opportunities to work overseas, the answer is yes they are,” said the minister.

“To date Brunei Shell Joint-Venture (BSJV) has 57 local staff working abroad. The same goes for international companies that have employed our local workforce.

“Schlumberger has 22, Halliburton has five and the same goes for Baker-Hughes. On top of that Petroleum Brunei has made quite a number of international investments in Malaysia, Myanmar and many more which equates to a lot of opportunity for our workforce to work overseas,” said the energy minister.

“And the Energy Department has ensured that 30 of our local businesses will be engaged in overseas contracts until 2035, so yes, opportunities for locals to work abroad is abundant,” said the minister.

The Brunei Times