Foster Wheeler mulls hiring more Bruneians

National 2 minutes, 19 seconds


ENGINEERING and construction contractor Foster Wheeler Asia Pacific is looking to hire more Bruneians when it expands operations, its business development manager said.

Ravish Maqsood said the company plans to increase its presence in Brunei due to a heavy government push to develop the local talent pool towards working in the oil and gas sector.

“We want to support via the local business development approach, and fill in the gap between what is being taught at university and how students can contribute to the industry (in the future), by telling them upfront about what it will look like – give them insight,” he said.

Ravish was speaking on the sidelines of the closing of the inaugural Institut Teknologi Brunei-Foster Wheeler Oil and Gas Training programme recently.

He further pointed out that students who graduated (in related fields such as engineering, business and science) years ago did not have such an opportunity to have a taste of the oil and gas industry through industry experts, while still in school.

“There is a gap – which we have seen worldwide – between students who are studying engineering or technical courses, and when they come to work, they don’t want to work with the engineering industry due to lack of knowledge or fear of the oil and gas industry.

“Data has shown that 40 per cent of chemical engineers are not working in the engineering sector,” Ravish added.

The former mechanical engineer also acknowledged that plenty of effort is put into making a student an engineer – be it through their own support, or through government funds.

“Foster Wheeler heard that if we connect to students when they’re still in third and fourth year of school, that’ll be the best as that is when they are making up their minds about where to go in their careers,” Ravish said.

He added that training students from an earlier stage would allow the young generation look for opportunities in the country, and realise that there were many jobs they could take up in the industry.

“The training programme helps participants open up their vision and help them understand and blend into the industry – ask the right questions and ask about career paths during job interviews,” he said.

Ravish also emphasised that it was important that such training programmes be interactive, and not consist of just classroom sections with lectures and slides.

He encouraged the use of ice-breaking and ‘outside-the-box’ exercises to show students opportunities and to motivate them, as well as get students to speak up and ask questions.

The ITB-Foster Wheeler Oil and Gas Training Programme, which saw the participation of over 130 students, was one of the collaboration activities under the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the institution and Foster Wheeler in November last year.

The Brunei Times