| Faza Suraj |
A BUILDING at Jalan Maulana in Kuala Belait that was previously a government guesthouse has been transformed into a temporary centre to help produce more skilled youth, specifically those from the Belait and Tutong Districts, according to an officer at the launching ceremony yesterday for the Youth Development Centre (YDC) of Belait District.
The new centre’s launch was also attended by Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Hazair bin Hj Abdullah, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports.
Also present were Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Hamid bin Hj Mohd Jaafar, Permanent Secre-tary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, and Belait District Officer Hj Haris bin Hj Othman.
In his speech, the minister said, “The launch of this centre is one of the early steps to provide youth outreach programmes catered for their development, specifically those unable to continue their studies in the Belait and Tutong Districts.
“Through this approach, the youths will not only be able to acquire training at the Youth Development Centre in Kg Tanah Jambu but also outside of the district.
“Finesse is very important and necessary for every individual… Only with skills could an individual develop themselves to be successful, start a career and rise out of poverty.
“For the development of a country, knowledge and skills possessed by its citizens can increase productivity and induce economic growth, especially when the expertise can be expanded with creativity and innovation.”
Meanwhile, in his welcoming address, Awg Haswandi bin Hj Osman, the event’s chairman and Acting Deputy Director of the YDC, also emphasised the centre’s importance a mark of progress.
He noted that since the YDC’s establishment back in 1996 (after its pilot phase from 1992 to 1995), 2,825 youths have been trained under the Youth Development programmes, short term programmes and short courses.
“After 19 years, the centre has produced many who have succeeded in their career, entrepreneurship or education,” he said.
He then went on to share example of success stories such as that of Siti Amirah Mubarak binti Muliani Hayat, who completed a pastry and confectionery course and is now working at a renowned hotel and she was also sent to Scotland by her employer to take part in a chocolate-making course.
Another example was Mohd Shahron bin Hj Abd Rahman who completed the Asy-Syifa Programme and now owns an ice-making factory, which mainly supplies to the fishmongers in Gadong. He also owns five fishing boats currently in operation and sells to the country’s fish market.
Meanwhile, Yenna binti Walli, who took a vehicle body repair course, has continued her studies and was also recently awarded the Special Award in conjunction with the 21st National Convocation Ceremony for the Diploma in Vehicle Body Engineering as well as the Overall Best Students Award for all technical colleges in Brunei.
According to Training Officer Saiful Rizal bin Hj Ariffin, participants of the YDC’s Belait branch will also be taught the AutoCAD (Computer Aided Drafting & Design).
He explained that AutoCAD was chosen as the starting course at the facility to help meet demands of the oil and gas industry, as knowledge in AutoCAD is one of the basic tools that potential employees need to be fluent in.
During a tour of the facility yesterday, Erma Kasniza binti Abdul Kadir also spoke with the Borneo Bulletin to explain the difference between the new centre’s AutoCAD course and those provided by other technical schools.
“This full-time course which runs through Monday to Thursday started in September and is expected to be completed next month.
“They (the participants) will progress towards the three-month Architect Course or the Career Programme which will be handled by Petrojaya Sdn Bhd, followed by another three months of work placement, which totals up to nine months of training.
“The students do not have to meet any educational requirements to be accepted but rather they have to be committed,” she clarified.