| Siti Hajar |
A NEW Telecommunications and Infor-mation Technology programme with a syllabus co-created by members from Telekom Brunei Berhad (TelBru) and Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE) is set to kick off in the new school term beginning January 2015.
According to Innaci Dass, the General Manager of Human Resources at TelBru, the programme, which will be managed by Sultan Saiful Rijal Technical College (MTSSR), is not only important for TelBru but for the country, too.
All this was made possible following the recent signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between the Ministry of Education (MoE) and TelBru.
“There are no local programmes that meet the needs of the telecommunications industry at the moment. The closest we have are Information Communications Technology- and electronics-related education, but these do not meet the industry’s requirement,” he said.
This initiative, which is part and parcel of TelBru’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), sets the bar for other corporations to follow suit, he said, adding that 11 students undertaking the new Telecommunications and Information Technology programme next month will be under the sponsorship of TelBru.
According to Innaci Dass, the field of telecommunications as a whole, ranging from management to technical support beyond TelBru, “essentially provides around 6,000 to 7,000 employment opportunities”.
“This is why we are working with academic institutions to come up with programmes (like the Telecommunications and Information Technology course),” he said, adding that under TelBru’s scholarship programme, candidates who have been selected based on interviews and assessments will receive a monthly allowance during the two-year HN-Tech programme and will undergo on-the-job-training to be followed with permanent employment opportunities with TelBru.
The development of the syllabus, it was further explained, is based on the ministry’s expertise but the content is also influenced by TelBru’s contributions in terms of the skills that are needed.
In furtherance to this partnership, TelBru will also be providing the education sector with the latest in laboratory equipment. The programme will require constant updates as the industry continues to revolutionise, it was explained.
The response to the programme’s introduction has been highly positive and the support that has been given to TelBru has encouraged the corporation to go even further.
By way of enhancing the country’s educational experience across different levels of qualifications, TelBru has also set its sights on engaging a number of the country’s universities with discussions already underway with Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) to introduce telecommunication modules under the Faculty of Integrated Technologies, which is scheduled to take shape within the next two years.
Other potential partners include Institut Teknologi Brunei (ITB), as well as Brunei Polytechnic.
The aim here is to change the mindsets of the younger generation, as well as to slowly introduce them to the industry’s career possibilities. At present, position’s are taken up by non-local employees, it was explained.
Following the change in TelBru’s management three years ago, the corporation has identified the need to rebrand its image from the inside and has prioritised human resource development as the key ingredient to its growth and sustainability.
However, due to the lack of interest in the field, the corporation has strategised to ensure that the younger population views TelBru as the employer of choice.
Not wanting to be left behind, TelBru’s human resource development budget is slightly higher than its counterparts in the region in terms of percentage and much of the investment is injected into ensuring that position’s within the company are filled by those who understand the business.
Apart from potentially filling gaps through education, TelBru takes seriously its internal human capacity training with a number of programmes under TelBru’s portfolio including the Supervisory Certification Programme, the Technical Apprentice Programme, the Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) certification programme, as well as TelBru’s Young Talent Development Programme.
These programmes, which were introduced only a few years ago and are conducted within a span of a few days to several months, involve intense practical and theoretical exercises as a means to equip staff with the necessary skills to better enhance TelBru’s services to the people as it aims to become the employer of choice by the year 2017.
This year alone, 250 staff and contractors’ employees have been provided with such training that includes examinations to ensure that employee’s are kept abreast of new technology and changing trends in the industry.
A graduation ceremony is set to be held on December 16 at the International Convention Centre for 19 fresh local graduates from various universities who have undergone the Young Talent Development Programme.
“We want to portray TelBru as an organisation that is vibrant, that it is moving forward and changing and we are providing a better working environment when compared to our history,” Innaci Dass said.
“The Human Resource Department sets our own mission to maximise organisational and individual potential. We look at capability building in the area of management, telecommunications, technology, innovation and the development of our people who also need to provide excellent customer service.”