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TMCNet:  More foreigners working in Brunei oil, gas industry

[March 05, 2012]

More foreigners working in Brunei oil, gas industry

Mar 05, 2012 (The Brunei Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Bandar Seri Begawan (The Brunei Times/ANN) -- The percentage of citizens and permanent residents working in the oil and gas sector in Brunei currently stands at about 40 per cent. The remainder consists of foreigners who occupy various positions from skilled to manual labour.

Informing the members of the Legislative Council (LegCo) yesterday during the meeting of the Eighth session, Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister's Office Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Mohammad Yasmin Hj Umar said Brunei's oil and gas industry has been established for the past 80 years but the workforce situation in this sector leaves a lot to be desired, adding that this issue has to be tackled properly.

In this regard, the minister spelled out a number of measures initiated by the Energy Department at the Prime Minister's Office (EDPMO) to increase employment of locals in the oil and gas sector.

These steps have been collectively aimed at arming locals with required skills and knowledge to make them employable and marketable.

The minister said the Energy White Paper (EWP), currently being formulated, projects that approximately 50,000 jobs will be available by 2035 in the oil and gas industry, of which 40,000 will go to the local workforce, including 5,000 professionals, He said initiatives include collaboration with higher education institutions, technical and vocational schools to coordinate the curriculum of courses to meet the needs as required for professionals in the oil and gas industry. An Energy Competency Framework will be introduced by the end of the year to prepare courses and training programmes tailored to meet the needs of the industry, including establishment of an oil and gas training centre and holding job fairs at schools and other avenues.

While explaining the energy competency framework, YB Pehin Dato Hj Mohd Yasmin said this will facilitate the process for graduates in finding jobs and the employers getting a workforce with required skills.

Regarding the establishment of an oil and gas training centre, he said the EDPMO has extended invitations to institutions abroad who are well known for educational and training facilities in engineering and technology.

Such institutions like the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) in Singapore and the Robert Gordon University in United Kingdom have been approached to undertake a study to assess the gap between courses currently offered in Brunei keeping in mind the needs of the oil and gas industry.

Consequently, findings of an initial study suggested the opening a specialised technical institute through a Public-Private Partnership.

___ (c)2012 the Asia News Network (Hamburg, Germany) Visit the Asia News Network (Hamburg, Germany) at www.asianewsnet.net/home/ Distributed by MCT Information Services

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