Bandar Seri Begawan - Yang Berhormat Awg Hj Zulkipli bin Hj Abd Hamid, the first to express his views on the Department of Economic Planning and Development (JPKE) issues yesterday during the 9th Legislative Council session, spoke on unemployment among graduates from both overseas and local higher academic institutions and productivity and growth in Brunei, which have an effect on the Sultanate's economy.
The government's effort in developing the oil and gas sector sees a high demand for human resources, which requires an estimate of 5,000 professionals and 30,000 workers in the technical and support division. He asked whether there are any plans in establishing a committee to study human resource development in depth. 'Are there any plans for the government to establish a National Human Resource Development Strategy that focuses on and coordinates the enhancement of human capital?
"Are there any plans to prepare and implement programmes to retrain or provide extra training for graduates who do not have suitable qualifications with the current employment opportunities that are being offered?"
He further asked if there are plans to produce future graduates in accordance with employment opportunities available in the country, which is consistent with any strategy for developing human resources.
YB Awg Hj Zulkipli suggested that with the National Human Resource Development Strategy, "we will be able to pin point and coordinate the production of human resources in the country and it would be more oriented thus making Brunei a centre with world class talents in various fields".
He also touched on productivity and raised concerns based on research findings that the productivity growth in Brunei in the overall economic activity for the past few years was not satisfying. This can affect the government's effort in reaching the projected economic growth.
"Are there any plans to establish a National Productivity Council to lead, study, formulate as well as implement policies and create action plans for the promotion of national productivity improvement?" he questioned.
He also quoted a famous economist by stating, "Productivity is not everything, but in the long run, productivity is everything."
YB Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Date Seri Setia Awg Hj Abdul Rahman bin Hj Ibrahim, Minister of Finance II at the Prime Minister's Office, responded to the queries by stating that there is an
agency that has been established called the Department of Human Resources Development ( JBSM) under the JPKE, which is responsible for handling human resource-related issues on a macro level to ensure the development of the vast human resources can be handled effectively. The main objective of JBSM is to act as the central agency which plans and implements policies of human resource development strategy.
"JPKE also considers human affairs as an important issue and should be intensified and developed in the longterm and one of the efforts is by providing a fund for human resource development totalling B$250 million," said YB Pehin Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Abdul Rahman.
There are also development programmes for Capabilities and New Workforce Skills, such as the Training and Employment Scheme where 340 people have undergone training in the skills training level, 990 people in On-The-Job Training and 331 people have found employment on a regular basis.
"There is also a New Labour Preparation Scheme. Provision has been made for the implementation of activities leading to the preparation of new energy. The activities carried out among others include Job Week to be implemented by Local Employment And Workforce Development Agency (APTK) under the Ministry of Home Affairs and also Job Fairs conducted by the Energy Department at the Prime Minister's Office.
"A basic scheme on ICT Literacy and Professional Training is also being held to produce human resources that are more competent and use increasingly sophisticated technology and thus will be able to provide quality services and achieve the vision of making the community as Knowledge Based Society. The scheme is operated by the Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam." said the minister.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin