| Hakim Hayat |
DESPITE an increasing recognition of the importance of technical and vocational education in the production of a skilled workforce, the perception that it is a last resort for weaker students still remains, the Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, Dato Paduka Haji Ali bin Haji Apong said.
At the 21st National Convocation for Technical and Vocational Institutions held at the Chancellor Hall of Universiti Brunei Darussalam yesterday, the deputy minister in his speech said this perception must be wiped out completely because it is proven internationally that skills acquired from technical and vocational education are very much required by multiple industries.
He urged parents and the public to continuously encourage their children who are currently undergoing or plan to enrol in technical and vocational fields to stay their course.
The deputy minister also said efforts have been made to change the perception and public mindset through a transformation process managed by the Ministry of Education, which is aimed at reorganising the technical education system to ensure it is in line with industrial and market needs.
As part of the transformation process, the Institute for Brunei Technical Education (IBTE) was established in May this year.
The deputy minister urged the IBTE to offer various demand driven courses to attract more students to the technical and vocational field.
“It will avoid a mismatch of jobs and would help meet the demand of the number of secondary school graduates which is increasing every year.”
The deputy minister also urged local graduates to change their mindset on career opportunities and not to solely depend on the government sector to provide jobs. He encouraged them to seek work in the private sector.
“With technical and vocational certificates locals should not worry because they are now more marketable due to certain skills and abilities that are needed by the industry”.
Entrepreneurship, he said, is also another field that graduates can venture into through start-up programmes. “I hope the IBTE will give more emphasis to entrepreneurship courses so our graduates can learn how to be independent upon completion of their studies as an advantage to the technical skills acquired,” he concluded.