Key positions identified for locals in construction industry

Lyna Mohamad

The launching of Construction Industry Job Marketplace and ARMECS Bridging Programme Interview Session last month was a milestone for Manpower Industry Steering Committee in Construction (MISC) with the 20 construction companies participating in the job-marketplace offering more than 200 positions in the sector as well as other positions.

This was shared by Legislative Council (LegCo) member and MISC Co-Chairperson Yang Berhormat FDr Ar Siti Rozaimeriyanty binti Dato Seri Laila Jasa Haji Abdul Rahman at the launch of ‘ARMECS Bridging Programme’ yesterday.

She said over 300 jobseekers attended and spoke with professionals from the industry and listened to talks on construction industry. To date, more than 50 jobseekers were hired including the 33 ARMECS trainee.

As one of the steering committees established under the Manpower Planning and Employment Council (MPEC), MISC Construction falls under the second pillar of its focus area, which is demand.

The committee work in tripartite partnership between industry, regulators and educational/training Institutions, aligning and meeting the demand in the construction industry, with the right supply to boost the capabilities of local workforce and ensure locals acquire skills and be industry-ready, which will give positive impact in effort to control and reduce the nation’s dependency on foreign workforce.

This is in line with the titah of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam at the first National Development Plan Executive Committee meeting for 2020 on September 21 where the monarch said, “As an independent and progressive nation, we do not have to rely too much on foreign labour. This method is not a solution in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), but locals need to be given exposure to all environments including construction and so on.”

The LegCo member disclosed that despite being impacted by COVID-19, MISC Construction organised over 20 sessions of stakeholders consultation and engagement – consultants, contractors, suppliers, jobseekers and institutions.

Legislative Council member and Manpower Industry Steering Committee in Construction Co-Chairperson Yang Berhormat FDr Ar Siti Rozaimeriyanty binti Dato Seri Laila Jasa Haji Abdul Rahman. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR

Outcomes from the engagement resulted in the identification of top 11 key positions in the construction industry that can be filled by local workers.

These positions are resident technical officer, clerk of works, company site representative, draughtsperson, health, safety and environment (HSE), heavy goods vehicle driver, carpenter, scaffolder for construction, building electrician, air conditioning technician and plumber/pipe fitter.

The committee also conducted two weeks of data crunching to identify the critical positions in the industry, nine workshops getting feedback from stakeholders and two weeks of developing the bridging programme structure with the industry.

Short, medium and long-term planning for the next three years were also identified by the committee which includes some potential key positions that may also be given attention to include quantity surveyor (QS), technician QS, senior technician QS, estate agent and valuer, land surveyor and machine operator.

The recent launch of the iSkill programme by MISC Energy has motivated them to drive their agenda forward for the construction industry to enhance the employability of local graduates.

The launching of the programme is in support MPEC’s vision in pursuit of improving the marketability of local graduates and to ensure they develop related and applicable abilities and competencies within the construction industry.

It is hoped that the implementation of the programme can have an impact on the country in attaining a sustainable and dynamic economy in achieving Brunei Vision 2035 and that efforts and initiatives not only by MPEC and MISC, but also other stakeholders in establishing such programmes will continue to grow within the country to achieve the goal of curbing and controlling the number of local unemployed graduates/jobseekers.

The committee also hopes that the aspirations and inspirations behind the accomplishment of this programme will be a source of encouragement and starting point for local graduates and jobseekers towards their direction for self-development and at the same time will ignite an impact in developing this beloved nation.

“This is also the beginning of our journey in collectively taking responsibility for the nation’s economic progress which will always grow according to the passage of time in our drive towards achieving Brunei Vision 2035,” she said.