JCB rejects 17,579 applications to recruit foreigners

Azlan Othman

The screening process at JobCentre Brunei (JCB), since its introduction in late 2017 until February 2020, recorded that some 2,949 locals successfully gained employment in the private sector, while 17,579 out of 36,681 applications to recruit foreign workers were rejected during the same period.

This was said by Minister of Home Affairs Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong at the final day of the 16th Legislative Council (LegCo) Meeting yesterday.

The minister said several initiatives have been taken to address the issue of unemployment in collaboration with agencies such as JCB and the Labour Department.

With the establishment of the Manpower Planning and Employment Council, he said, efforts to address unemployment issues will be intensified in the near future through the implementation of initiatives that simultaneously contribute to the development of the private sector through increased competency and expertise of local job seekers.

The minister noted that through the Ease of Doing Business initiative, the government is constantly striving to provide eco-systems that boost business growth and make the country a leading choice for foreign direct investments (FDIs), which in turn increases employment opportunities.

However, he said, “we cannot expect to do this alone”. Instead, he hoped that employers in the private sector will play their part in helping their employees stay afloat, so they do not see the private sector as a stepping stone to public sector job.

“We all know that the Whole of Nation approach is essential in addressing issues, such as unemployment, foreign workers recruitment and economic growth, as it requires coordination and support from various non-governmental organisations,” he said. “We hope that the approach we often propose will be fully realised and will not put burden on any one party to tackle.”

He added, “The plans that have been shared at the LegCo showed that we have dreams and aspirations to realise Brunei Vision 2035.”

The minister also called on efforts from all parties involved to “make Brunei Darussalam a country that is well respected for its economy and its people for their high quality and values. At the same time, we also need to always be wise, to recognise our existing resources while taking advantage of other opportunities before us at domestic, regional and global levels”.

Cabinet Ministers during the 16th Legislative Council (LegCo) Meeting. PHOTO: INFOFOTO