Jerudong - Technical and vocational education has a very important role and significantly more so in view of Brunei Darussalam's economy being driven by the energy sector - oil and gas.
It also helps in the diversification of Brunei's economy aside from the oil and gas sector.
This was said by Datin Hjh Adina binti Hj Othman, Acting Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports at the 18th National Convocation for Technical and Vocational Institutions, held yesterday at the BRIDEX Conference Hall in Jerudong.
"In an increasingly competitive era, we and the youth in particular should look for technical and vocational education as a career opportunity that is no less important than other areas," she said.
She also expressed to the audience that in the oil and gas sector, Brunei does not want to be too dependent on external expertise, particularly in the processing of these valuable natural resources.
The role of the local workforce, who has the technical skills, is needed for the contribution of the nation's economy for the quality of life in our community.
Progress in this field will have a positive impact on His Majesty's Government in desiring to see more locals being employed in the oil and gas sector.
Apart from the oil and gas, technical skills are also very important to guarantee the government's desire to diversify the economy, so not to overly rely on oil and gas sector.
Referring to the diversification of economy, Datin Paduka Hjh Adina praised the progress in private technical institutions that provide programmes particularly in IT as well as soft skills training for the local. Private technical institutions are also giving chances to students who cannot enrol in government institutions to increase their skills. With Brunei's current population of 393,162, which includes foreigners and temporary residents, the total number of employment is only 183,500. She explained that in terms of economic activity, there are many other sectors that can be started and developed, and towards achieving the goal of economic diversification, Brunei Darussalam really depends on its human resources.
"With a small population, we have no choice but to nurture, educate and ensure that every individual in this country will be able to achieve their potential to contribute to themselves and to the nation.
"Every individual has something positive in them, and we need to foster positive attitude so that they will be an asset to the country. With this, concerted efforts are needed to find local potentials in order to empower them to achieve the Vision 2035, which is to see Brunei Darussalam as a country with an educated and skilled people, having a high-quality living."
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin