A one-stop centre for lifelong learning programmes

James Kon

In addressing unemployment and playing a vital role of supporting Brunei Vision 2035, the Lifelong Learning Centre (L³ Centre) under the Ministry of Education (MoE) is actively planning, developing and implementing lifelong learning programmes in collaboration with lifelong learning providers and government agencies.

The L³ Centre in RPN Lambak Kanan serves as a one-stop centre for lifelong learning programmes in Brunei Darussalam comprising four pillars of programmes – Workforce Development, Academic upgrading, community development and personal development.

This was shared by its Acting Director Dr Sheikh Lukman bin Sheikh Abdul Hamid during a press conference yesterday. Deputy Director of Academic Walter Chong Meng Siong and Deputy Director of Administration Sumardi bin Haji Abdul Hamid were also present.

Dr Sheikh Lukman outlined the centre’s collaborations with Centre for Lifelong Learning, UBD; Leadership and Lifelong Centre, Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali; Tri-CEd Continuing Education, Universiti Teknologi Brunei; Centre of Excellence for Lifelong Learning (CELL), Politeknik Brunei; Continuing Education and Training Division, Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE CET); SEAMEO Voctech; Youth Development Centre under Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS); and BICPA-FTMS Accountancy Academy Sdn Bhd.

Dr Sheikh Lukman said the centre focusses in upskilling and reskilling programmes under the Workforce Development pillar which have been planned and conducted in collaboration with the Manpower Planning and Employment Council (MPEC) Secretariat of Prime Minister’s Office and JobCentre Brunei (JCB).

L³ Centre Acting Director Dr Sheikh Lukman bin Sheikh Abdul Hamid, Deputy Director of Academic Walter Chong Meng Siong and Deputy Director of Administration Sumardi bin Haji Abdul Hamid at the press conference. PHOTO: JAMES KON

He revealed that to date, the L³ Centre has offered 135 upskilling and reskilling programmes, especially for adult learners, jobseekers, employees in the public and private sectors. Some 260 participants have joined the programmes.

Meanwhile, MPEC introduced a new initiative called SkillsPlus under the Learn and Grow programme supported by the L³ Centre providing funding assistance for the upskilling and reskilling programmes. The funding assistance aims to provide training opportunities to local jobseekers, freelancers, i-Ready apprentices and local employees working in the private sector looking to improve or gain new skills. The funding assistance is also provided to companies that meet MPEC’s eligibility criteria to strengthen the local workforce through the L³ Centre programmes.

The L³ Centre Acting Director said, “The MoE through the L³ Centre and IBTE will offer programmes to fulfil employment opportunities in the oil and gas industry where IBTE will offer programmes at the Industrial Skills Qualifications (ISQ) level in welding, marker fitter, rigger, scaffolder and painter blaster which will begin in early 2021.”

Meanwhile, the L³ Centre also plans to offer accredited skill based training programmes under the Brunei Darussalam National Occupational Skills Standards (BNOSS) framework for local jobseekers and adult learners.

The L³ Centre also conducts academic upgrading programmes on weekday evenings and weekend for school leavers and adult learners previously offered by IBTE CET for those looking to improve their academic achievement or have not sat for the Brunei Cambridge GCE ‘A’, ‘O’ Level and IGCSE examinations.

The centre also plans to offer community development programmes and personal development programmes next year based on community needs and individual’s growth and progression. Dr Sheikh Lukman revealed that the L³ Centre will have its own ready-built facilities available next year for the Registered Training Organization (RTOs) to run their trainings. RTOs who offer lifelong learning programmes are encouraged to work with the L³ Centre to promote and cultivate the culture of lifelong learning in the country.