Kuala Belait - The Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister's Office, Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awg Hj Mohd Yasmin bin Hj Umar visited two companies working in the Oil and Gas industry yesterday the companies' respective local business development programmes high on the agenda.
The first company visited was that of Baker Hughes, an oilfield services company serving the global petroleum industry, offering products and services for finding, evaluating, drilling, extracting and producing hydrocarbon.
The minister has always stressed the importance of local content, and for locals to be employed in companies working in the industry, and while visiting the company, he took the opportunity to tour the premises and meet with the company's staff.
Sharing his thoughts with the Bulletin on the company's stance on local business development, he said, "This is an international company that has come to Brunei with the right attitude. These are the sort of people we want to welcome to Brunei, because they have that understanding right from the beginning when they come here to contribute to local business development.
"Many of the companies we have visited before could not care less, but we take that into account when it comes to future jobs," he said. "If Baker Hughes can do it, why can't everybody else?"
The company also sends locals abroad not only for training, but to work, and speaking on this, the minister said, "They have 10 Bruneians working abroad."
One of them is holding a very high position in Malaysia as an Operations Manager, added Awg Hj Jamain bin Hj Julaihi, the Permanent Secretary (Downstream & Power) at the Energy Department.
"And this is the sort of company I welcome to Brunei," the minister stressed. "I'm happy with the facility, but I want them to do even more.
"As I said, this is the type of company that we want to see more of in Brunei, because they think of us and the country as well," he added.
Heba Filobbos, Country Manager for Baker Hughes in Brunei said, "We are really pleased to work in a country like Brunei. There is a lot of talent. Some of our best employees are actually Bruneians.
"I'm really impressed. I've been in Brunei for a year now," she continued. "I'm completely impressed with the talent and the calibre of the people that are available here.
"It's better for companies here to hire Bruneians. They are closer to the customers, so they understand the culture."
The minister also visited Damit Worley Parsons Engineering Sdn Bhd, where he spoke to a number of the employees, and asked if they were content working at the company.
Many of them said that they were indeed happy working there, but when asked if they had been sent for any training of any kind, the majority answered, "No".
Sharing his thoughts on what he saw while there, the minister highlighted that it is a well-established company that needs to do more in terms of investing in their local capacity development.
"This is what we are telling them, that they must put investment into developing people," he said. "They know it, and they are very thankful to us for saying this.
"There're a lot of Bruneians in this company," he continued, highlighting that many other companies have significantly fewer locals working for them.
"This is a well-established company because they have a good partner overseas. I don't think it will take much time because they have good resources overseas to help support them to come up with a development programme for the graduates.
"It's not going to be a major problem because these are big players in the industry," he added.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin