| Danial Norjidi |
A MAJOR new apprenticeship programme called I-RDY (I-Ready) was recently announced, and is aimed at enhancing the marketability and employability of young jobseekers.
The three-year apprenticeship scheme will commence on April 1, 2017, and will act as a platform to expose graduates to various industries in both the public and private sectors.
A provision of $15 million has been allocated for the I-RDY apprenticeship programme. This was shared during a session of the 13th Legislative Council Meeting on March 7 by YB Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Ibrahim, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance II while detailing the budget allocation for various human capacity building schemes.
According to information from the Manpower Policy and Planning Unit (MPPU), Energy and Industry Department at the Prime Minister’s Office (EIDPMO), throughout the three years, apprentices will be coached and mentored to ensure their development meets industry needs and their capability development will be monitored regularly. Host organisations are given the option to permanently employ apprentices at any time.
I-RDY has a number of objectives. One such objective is to provide opportunities for graduates to gain skills and experience in a real working environment, as well as to provide authentic learning opportunities and on-the-job training.
The programme also carries the aim of increasing the marketability and employability of graduates. At the same time, it can benefit the host organisation in terms of succession planning of upcoming retirees in the next three years.
Under the programme, the government will provide a monthly allowance of $800 to selected graduates for a maximum period of three years. In addition, apprentices are required to join the Employees Trust Fund (TAP) and Supplemental Contributory Pension (SCP) schemes.
To be eligible for the I-RDY Apprenticeship Programme, applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of Brunei Darussalam, and must be graduates (degree and above) who are registered at JobCentre Brunei (JCB) and have little to no working experience and be currently unemployed, while there is no age limit.
Applicants must ensure they are registered as jobseekers at JCB, where apprenticeship slots will be advertised. All applications will be screened, and shortlisted candidates will be interviewed for final selection.
Meanwhile, companies who wish to participate will first need to register at JCB. They then have to submit their employment requirements to the MPPU along with necessary documents such as job title, number of slots available and job description.
Apprenticeship vacancies will then be posted on JCB, after which companies will shortlist candidates who have applied for the I-RDY positions. Shortlisted candidates will then be interviewed by a panel consisting of the host company’s members and a JCB representative, and successful candidates will be offered an apprenticeship contract.
Apprentice assessment will be carried out both pre-assignment and during assignment. In pre-assignment, companies screen all applications and shortlist candidates, before apprentice interviews are conducted using the selected attributes and structured interview assessments as provided by MPPU. Apprentice contracts are prepared using a template provided by the MPPU, once a successful apprentice has been identified.
During assignment, companies are to develop clear tasks and targets for the apprentices as well as a structured development programme for them.
They will also need to assign a coach and/or mentor to the apprentice, while also completing a progress report every six months, which is to be shared with the MPPU. Apprenticeship opportunities will be available for all sectors throughout the year and advertised via JCB.
MPPU will make a methodology template and process available for the perusal of host companies. At any time during the three-year duration, the apprentice may be assessed for permanent employment. Upon successful assessment and being offered permanent employment, apprentices will not be subjected to further probationary period, as the programme will have already served this purpose.
JCB has already begun conducting briefings for graduate jobseekers and companies alike to inform them about what the I-RDY programme entails and the opportunities it presents.
To apply and for further details, those interested can visit www.jobcentrebrunei.gov.bn, while more information can also be attained by contacting the Manpower Policy and Planning Unit (MPPU) via email firstname.lastname@example.org or at 2444123.