Uniform can improve retention rate of local workforce: Official

National 2 minutes, 11 seconds


THE acting labour commissioner has suggested that having uniforms will improve the retention rates of locals working in lower-income service sector jobs.

Speaking to The Brunei Times in a recent interview, Hj Rani BPSK DSS Hj Mohd Yussof said that there appears to be a feeling of prestige among young Bruneian workers who work in uniforms.

“A peculiar thing that I have noticed is that if these locals, especially the younger ones, are given uniforms at their jobs, they feel proud of what they do,” he said.

“For example, the locals that work at Starbucks are proud of their jobs and like what they do and wants to stay but in comparison, those at conventional restaurants who still do roughly the same jobs with no big difference in pay, they will not like what they do and are prone to quitting,” he said.

Hj Rani said that it was disheartening to hear that some local youngsters do not commit to the job after all the training and education that are given for service sector jobs. The problem of frequent job leavers searching for “easy and comfortable” jobs remains a challenge in tackling unemployment.

“The thing is, a frequent problem and complaint amongst business owners is that some locals cannot stand working these jobs over a long period of time,” he said.

“The worst I have heard so far was one case where the local worker quit after just one hour into the job,” he said.

Hj Rani said that the drive to localise the workforce in certain service sector jobs begun in 2014 when the ministry of home affairs announced policy changes to overcome unemployment and control the influx of foreign labour by employing only as needed.

The policy changes, designed to compel local companies to hire locals, included revoking all unused foreign labour quotas and freezing the issuance of foreign labour quotas for several service sector jobs such as cashiers, drivers, shop staffs, clerks and bakers.

“So far, from what I have received in feedback from the Local Employment and Workforce Development Agency, there has been success in some industries but of course, some industries also struggle to meet the targets which we hope to rectify in time,” he said.

During a recent presentation by Hj Rani at a Darussalam Enterprises dialogue, he said that the department of labour along with other involved agencies are aiming for locals to make up 100 per cent of lower-income service sector jobs in rural areas, 80 per cent in semi-urban areas and 70 per cent in urban areas, although no deadline was given to reach the targets.

The Brunei Times