New policy to help Bruneians find jobs: Minister

National 2 minutes, 7 seconds


THE new policy in replacing the foreign labour quota with a streamlined foreign worker licence will help Bruneians secure jobs, said senior Ministry of Home Affairs officials.

Home Affairs Minister Yang Boerhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awang Abu Bakar Hj Apong said the new policy will prioritise Bruneians in filling job vacancies.

Speaking to reporters on the new foreign workers licence yesterday, he said the ministry’s Local Employment and Workforce Development Agency (APTK) will allow employers to hire foreign workers if no locals are interested or suitable for the job.

A local-to-foreign workforce ratio in specific industries will serve as the basis for approval of foreign worker licences. However, the Labour Department will release details of the local-foreign worker ratio at a later date.

The Labour Department yesterday began receiving applications from new companies for the new foreign workers licence, which promises to reduce the recruitment process from 41 working days to nine working days.

Acting Labour Commissioner Hj Shariful Bahri Hj Sawas said besides helping small and medium enterprises, the new policy aims to combat unemployment among locals.

“We are encouraging companies in the country to hire local employees. Many agencies are also taking their initiative in combating this issue,” he said, adding that unemployment can be curbed if every agency does their part.

He went on to say that the new policy could attract more people in setting startups in Brunei.

“We have to review this policy from time to time to make it more efficient, even the internal use of local-foreign worker ratio has to be updated based on the market demand here,” the acting commissioner added.

The new foreign workers licence is a streamlined process of two existing steps that involved the foreign labour quota application and the work pass recommendation form (BUR500/555).

YB Pehin Dato Hj Awg Abu Bakar said shortening the application process could help promote SMEs and create a pro-business environment.

“The process of taking foreign workers at the Labor Department was shortened from 12 steps to only seven steps, while the Client’s Charter was reduced from 41 working days to nine days including payment of safety deposit and signing a contract,” said the minister.

It was previously reported that existing companies looking for additional foreign worker licences can only do so from January 2017, while the process for renewals of existing licences will be introduced in April 2017.

Counters for immigration and the APTK have also been set up at the Labour Department to facilitate the application process.

The Brunei Times