Energy Dept powers up job fairs

National 4 minutes, 2 seconds


THE Energy Department at the Prime Minister’s Office (EDPMO) has been pioneering in organising multiple job fairs for Bruneians since 2012.

The first job fair organised by the EDPMO in 2012 targeted 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.

Speaking to The Brunei Times on meeting expectations of these job fairs and their effectiveness, Energy Minister Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Mohd Yasmin Hj Umar said: “I say they (job fairs) are very effective. From one job fair to another, we have learnt a lot.”

The minister said each job fair has given them the opportunity to make the industry understand the need for local employment.

“I have no doubt from the first job fair until now, it has been very effective. I do not want to boast about our target. We have no issue in meeting them. But I want us to look at the employment that we have created. It is now more systematic and industrial-focused,’’ he said.

YB Minister of Energy pointed out that these job fairs are not run solely by the EDPMO, but by the industry and the other government agencies, such as the Ministry of Education, Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE), the Department of Economic Planning and Development (JPKE), among others.

“All these people are working together as a team to deliver these job fairs. We are not talking about just creating a few hundred jobs. Now, we are looking to recruit more than 3,000 individuals per year, and that is why these job fairs are different from other job fairs,’’ he said.

Looking back in 2012 when the first job fair was held, the minister said that was when they conceived the idea of formulating the Energy Industry Competency Framework (EICF), under which there are vocational and technical training programmes aimed at people with qualifications of Year 9, GCE ‘O’ Level as well as HND and above.

The development of the EICF is a collaboration between the EDPMO and the MOE, with extensive consultation with the energy industry.

The framework is designed to define competencies required to perform jobs and roles in the workplace; to close gaps between training providers and industry requirements and to create a more marketable local workforce equipped with relevant skills for the energy industry.

“Looking at the first job fair, we have made the following ones after better. The EICF is now matured and as the chairman of its steering committee, I am also quite impressed on the way it has developed. But, we are not going to stop there and do more. We are looking to introduce more courses now under EICF. By next year, we can already roll out phase 2 under the framework,’’ he said.

YB Minister of Energy said each job fair is not perfect, but it continues to improve each time.

“The team of people that we have are very motivated to deliver the job fairs. I really appreciate the whole one-Brunei approach in carrying this forward,” he said.

Meanwhile, the minister said job fairs should not only focus on the energy sector.

“There are many industries such as construction, agriculture, hospitality, among others, in Brunei. There is no reason why it cannot be modelled like the EICF,” he said.

He stressed that the commitment of the industry is very important for job fairs to deliver, along with the synergy between the government and the respective industry.

The energy minister added they welcome criticisms from the public on the job fairs.

However, at the same time he encouraged the public to come down and have a look at the concept of the job fairs themselves.

Asked whether organising job fairs would become more frequent each year given its success, YB Minister of Energy said carrying it once or twice a year would suffice.

He added organising it more than two times a year would place a heavy burden on the industry. “To have more than two job fairs each year would be difficult for us to sustain.”

YB Mnister of Energy stressed that mindsets among Bruneian jobseekers have to change.

“There are some who do job-hopping or leave companies without giving any notice. These are the traits we do not want in the industry, because these companies are very operational,” he said.

In a previous report, the minister said providing 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, and also to the global industry,” he said.

The Brunei Times