| Azlan Othman |
BRUNEI Darussalam recently joined other countries in marking World Youth Skills Day and raising awareness on the importance of youth skills development.
The theme for World Youth Skills Day – celebrated every July 15 – this year centred around ‘Learning To Learn For Life And Work’, highlighting the importance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in providing youth with the opportunities to develop their competencies and accelerate their transition to work.
In Brunei, TVET is crucial in helping realise Brunei Vision 2035 by playing a role in creating well-educated and highly skilled people to support Brunei Darussalam’s economic development.
The Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE), as the primary provider of TVET in Brunei, offers competency-based programmes aligned to the needs of the industry, IBTE said in a statement to mark World Youth Skills Day recently.
With over 42 programmes from different fields including engineering, business, ICT, hospitality and tourism, agriculture and the sciences, IBTE has the capability of providing Brunei’s youth with the diverse skills and competencies essential for economic self-reliance and productivity in society.
The institute also offers opportunities for lifelong learning through its Continuing Education and Training arm, which provides skills training for individuals and communities to help them carve out the pathways they need – at any stage of their life – to succeed, be it through self-employment or entrepreneurship.
During the 2018 IBTE convocation ceremony, Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman emphasised that to achieve success in the future, the youth need to be adaptable to the changes taking place around them and be prepared to face the challenges they encounter, when looking for work or when they are already in work.
This is where skills development comes in to equip the youth with the tools needed to face such challenges.
World Youth Skills Day is celebrated around the globe to achieve better socio-economic conditions for today’s youth as a means of addressing the challenges of unemployment and underemployment.
As a member of the UNESCO-UNEVOC Network, Brunei Darussalam through IBTE also recognises the importance of TVET and skills development in empowering youth to be agents in realising Brunei Vision 2035.
As outlined under the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4), TVET plays a crucial role in that it is expected to address the multiple demands of an economic, social and environmental nature by helping youth and adults develop the skills they need for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship, promoting equitable, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, and supporting transitions to green economies and environmental sustainability.
Over 1.2 billion youth – 16 per cent of the global population – between the ages of 15 to 24 live in this world. Imagine the fate of the world resting on the shoulders of this massive population of young people.
Will they be able to take on the mantle of leading global change? With such enormous chips at stake in the present and future state of the world, the youth need to be empowered to become change makers, innovators and leaders to determine the prospects for sustainable development and transform their communities and countries.
As the cornerstones in a nation’s development, the youth, being the most dynamic segment of the population, need to have the skills and capabilities to achieve their full potential to be powerful change agents, a criterion essential towards moving forward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
TVET includes formal, non-formal and informal learning that equip youth with the skills required to access the world of work, including skills for self-employment. It provides learners who possess technical aptitude but are not academically inclined the pathway to advance their skills and future employment prospects.
Findings from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) surveys suggest that both employers and the youth consider that many graduates are ill-prepared for the world of work.
TVET can help ease the youth’s entry into the world of work and prepare them for the fast-changing nature of jobs today – brought on by rapid technological change – through work-based learning and competency-based training equipping them with knowledge and skills relevant to workplace needs.
It can also prepare them for the jobs that don’t even exist today, as part of the TVET system provides opportunities for continuous learning.