‘More locals being hired by private sector’
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
NEARLY 900 locals who participated in the training and employment scheme (SLP) under the Local Employment and Workforce Development Agency (APTK) were permanently employed by private companies as of January this year.
During the 12th Legislative Council (LegCo) meeting yesterday, Minister of Home Affairs Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Abu Bakar Hj Apong said that up to January this year, 1,769 people had registered to join the SLP, and of this, 889 have been permanently employed.
Launched in 2011, the SLP aims to provide locals with work experience in the private sector through on-the-job training.
This was among the issues raised by YB Pehin Dato Hj Abu Bakar in his response to a question by LegCo member Yang Berhormat Hj Mohd Shafiee Ahmad, who had asked whether there has been any initiative or incentive through the APTK to encourage local companies and citizens to meet the labour supply demand in Brunei and whether there had been any success.
The minister said APTK has been offering 11 training courses since the launch. APTK is the government agency whose job is to provide a job training scheme with the support of the Department of Economic Planning and Development (JPKE).
He said that besides APTK, the job training scheme is also run by the Energy and Industry Department at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
According to the annual census on employers from 2011 to 2014 under five major industrial categories, the number of Bruneians with primary to higher education was increasing compared with the number of foreign workers with similar academic qualifications, he said.
“There is a growing tendency for more locals to be absorbed into the employment market,” said YB Pehin Dato Hj Abu Bakar during the proceedings.
Giving an example, he said in the mining and quarry industrial sector, there was a 16.6 per cent increase in Bruneians compared with foreign workers or by 4,874 in 2011and the number continued to grow to 8,464 in 2014.
The wholesale and retail trade recorded an 18.1 per cent increase from 9,964 Bruneians recruited in 2011 to 12,226 in 2014.
In the hospitality industry, a 21.8 per cent increase was recorded in the number of Bruneians working in 2011 with 3,910 to 5,228 by 2014.
He also said the transportation industry recorded an increase of 41.4 per cent from 2,878 local workers in 2011 to 3,669 in 2014. The support services industry recorded an increase of 18.2 per cent or 8,283 in 2014 compared to 7,207 in 2011.
“InsyaAllah, the Ministry of Home Affairs through APTK will continue to cooperate with other government agencies and the private sector to achieve the national objective of providing job opportunities for Bruneians and reducing the number of expatriates in certain sectors,” he said.
Meanwhile, in the energy sector, Minister of Energy and Industry at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Mohammad Yasmin Hj Umar touched on the National Graduate Apprenticeship Scheme (NEGAS), which was introduced in 2014.
The scheme targets unemployed Higher National Diploma (HND) holders to provide them with real work experience. Currently, 28 locals from a total of 59 apprentices who had participated in the scheme are permanently employed, said YB Pehin Dato Hj Mohammad Yasmin.
In addition, 44 engineering students have participated in the scholarship scheme sponsored by petrochemical firm Hengyi Industries Sdn Bhd, which also involves a collaboration between Universiti Brunei Darussalam and China’s Zhejiang University, he said.
Once the students complete the programme, they will be working at Hengyi Industries Sdn Bhd in Brunei.
The Brunei Times