‘We’ll exceed jobs target for locals’

National 3 minutes, 27 seconds


THE Energy Department at the Prime Minister’s Office (EDPMO) will exceed its 2014 target of recruiting 3,000 local employees in the oil and gas industry, the Minister of Energy said.

To date, 2,473 jobs have been secured, and another 2,000 job offers are available at the energy sector job fair which kicked off yesterday, Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Mohd Yasmin Hj Umar told The Brunei Times.

After taking into account several factors such as the number of companies in Brunei, the unemployment numbers and possibility of locals being employed in particular type of jobs, the EDPMO will maintain the target of employing 3,000 locals in the sector for 2015.

The energy minister said he was not expecting any issues to arise in meeting this target.

Quality jobs which are sustainable, and those with progression and offer life-long careers, are important for the sector.

“The aspiration of the government and the industry is to produce and recruit Bruneians who will work in Bruneian companies and also foreign companies.

“There is no reason why a Bruneian with good systematic training cannot be useful to local industries, but also to the global industry,” he said in the interview on the sidelines of the fifth round of the energy sector job fair.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Mohd Yasmin also stressed on the need for jobseekers to change their mindset in order to progress.

“The Bruneian values are very important – respect to elderly and individuals, people learning to work together as a team and having integrity. We need more Bruneian employees to be honest with themselves and help with this mindset change. This oil and gas industry is Brunei’s lifeline, and it is they (Bruneians) who are responsible and accountable in serving the national interest,” he said.

In his speech during the opening of the job fair, he urged local employees to strive to be role models who are loyal, honest, hold integrity, are focused and hardworking – all of which are core values that will build trust of the management and contribute indirectly to employment of other locals.

He also called on companies to provide their employees with meaningful employment in terms of renumeration packages, among others.

“We must continue to create a conducive working environment, especially for those who are new to the industry and are entering at lower salary groups,” he said.

Additionally, companies need to provide each employee with opportunities to improve through systematic training programmes, tailored to his or her employment and future progression needs.

The minister said he wanted to see an audit carried out across all sectors within the industry to confirm the employment figures. It is also to identify areas where further improvements can be made.

“We also want to know, for example, how many of those who have acquired employment since 2012, are still working in the industry,” he said.

As part of its own auditing measures, the EDPMO, earlier this year, launched an easy online local recruitment reporting system for up-to-date monitoring of locals recently recruited in the industry.

The system enables the department to obtain personal data such as email addresses and phone numbers, to allow them to directly verify with the employees of their current employment status.

The EDPMO is also collaborating with the Tabung Amanah Pekerja (TAP) to verify local recruitments as reported in the last two cycles of Local Business Development reporting, as well as conducting site visits to meet and obtain information from employees themselves, and discuss their career developments with the employers.

The first job fair organised by the EDPMO in 2012 targetted to recruit 1,000 in the industry, and another 1,600 individuals the following year. They exceeded the recruitment targets by hiring 1,302 and 2,610 jobseekers respectively.

“We are never satisfied... We realised that there was and still is a pressing need to provide more jobs for our locals, and that there are still plenty of opportunities to do these in the oil and gas sector,” the minister said.

The job fair is held at Bridex Hall 1 and 2 from today until Sunday from 9am to 6pm, and on Friday from 9am to 11.30am, and 2pm to 6pm.

The Brunei Times