| Lyna Mohamad |
A TOTAL of 12,275 locals were jobless in 2014 although 3,454 companies in five industries in Brunei Darussalam offered 44,274 jobs last year.
The sectors that had vacancies were trade, wholesale and retail, hotel, restaurant and coffee shop, community services, social and private, financial services, insurance and law, said Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Awg Othman, at the launch of the Brunei Job Fair 2015 yesterday.
He said only 1,231 companies or 36 per cent had a workforce in which more than 50 per cent were local, employing a total of 15,417 locals. The remaining 2,223 companies or 64 per cent employed 28,857 foreign workers.
The minister said he hoped that job opportunities for locals would increase this year after 208 new companies were issued with business licences in the first two weeks of 2015 following the introduction of a policy to speed up the process of setting up businesses.
He urged local employees to do their best and contribute to the growth of their respective companies.
He called on employers to stop comparing the quality of work of local employees with their foreign staff. Employers should not use this issue as an excuse to ignore the call by the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam to tackle the low unemployment rate among locals, he said.
The annual Brunei Job Fair is organised by the Local Employment and Workforce Development Agency (APTK), Ministry of Home Affairs with the support of the Department of Economic Planning and Development (JPKE).
This year’s event, which will conclude this Thursday, January 22 and is open from 9am to 5pm, adopted a different approach from the previous events, said Acting Head of APTK Hj Shahrul Jeffri bin Dato Paduka Hj Ibrahim in his welcoming remarks yesterday.
This year’s job fair uses a four-zone concept where Zone 1 is about the Brunei Job Fair and information on services at APTK. Zone 2 features information related to employment matters at government agencies and Zones 3 and 4 feature motivational talk and highlight entrepreneurship and the role of employees in private sector.
He said APTK was providing services such as registration and renewal of APTK card, course registration, career guidance, CV skills and information on workers’ rights.
Participating government agencies include the Employees Trust Fund (TAP), JPKE, Labour Department, Narcotics Control Bureau, Anti-Corruption Bureau, Ministry of Health, Career Education Unit of Counselling and Career Guidance Section, Department of Schools, Community Development Department, Islamic Dakwah Centre and e-Government National Centre (EGNC). Their participation shows the government’s seriousness and commitment in helping reduce the unemployment rate and enable the employers to increase their contribution to tackle the issue.
APTK is focusing more on raising awareness and knowledge on a career in the private sector.
Thirty-one companies are participating in the career exhibition and to date over 1,500 jobs have been offered with more vacancies expected during the fair.