‘We have graduates who can work anywhere’

National 2 minutes, 15 seconds


BRUNEI is capable of producing highly skilled local workers at par with international standards, said the Energy Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office.

Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Mohd Yasmin Hj Umar expressed confidence that Bruneians have the potential to compete in the international workforce.

“We have the standard of Bruneians who can work anywhere in the world,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the Total Education Scholarship Scheme (TESS) signing ceremony, highlighting the importance of gaining work experience with international firms.

He was referring to the students selected for the TESS initiative run by Total E&P Deep Offshore Borneo B V (TEPDOB) together with the Commercial Area Joint Venture Partners, Energy Department at the Prime Minister’s Office (EDPMO) and supported by PetroleumBRUNEI.

Since 2012, seven Bruneians have signed on for the prestigious scholarship to pursue further studies at top institutions in France and the opportunity to gain work experience with Total afterwards.

The minister said the TESS scholars, who have all maintained excellent grades and academic achievements, were a reflection of Brunei’s successful education system. He anticipated that the system will continue to produce excellent students in line with National Vision 2035.

During the interview, YB Pehin Dato Hj Mohd Yasmin underscored the need for locals to acquire international work experience in order to contribute to national development.

He advised the Bruneian scholars in France to acquire a different perspective from the French science and engineering culture, which they can eventually use to improve the Sultanate’s oil and gas industry in the future.

“There is a lot they can learn through work experience, but it’s also important they then return to Brunei and contribute to national development,” said the minister.

He said the TESS initiative was borne out of a dinner meeting between the Executive Vice President of Total for Asia Pacific and a Ministry of Defence (MinDef) scholar studying in France, which had impressed the senior member of the French oil and gas firm. 

“The Executive Vice President was so impressed with the MinDef scholar that he said he wanted more Bruneians like that,” said YB Pehin Dato Hj Mohd Yasmin.

“This is what I’m particularly very keen on. Total is a big oil and gas company. It’s one of the biggest in Europe and in the world. To have a very senior person from Total saying that Bruneians are as capable as anybody to do the job is something to speak of,” he added.

Beyond oil and gas, the minister also hoped that bilateral ties between Brunei and France would continue to strengthen through educational initiatives.

The Brunei Times