Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II cum Manpower Planning and Employment Council (MPEC) Chairman Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah officially launched the industry Learn and Excel Apprenticeship Programme (iLEAP) and SkillsHub in a ceremony at the V-Plaza Hotel in Belait District yesterday.
The event was jointly organised by the MPEC Secretariat under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the Manpower Industry Steering Committee Working Group for Energy ((MISC-WG Energy), a committee under the MPEC.
Deputy Minister of the Department of Energy at the PMO Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Matsatejo bin Sokiaw also attended.
MISC-WG Energy Lead Hajah Rosita binti Haji Hassan pointed out the need to address the competency level of the existing workforce in the energy industry.
She touched on the success of the iSkill programme, which started in January 2021. A total of 181 trainees from the first cohort will join the workforce this November after undergoing a three-month self-endurance programme at the National Service Programme (PKBN).
“While the iSkill programme addresses technical skills development at the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) level, we believe there is also a need to address the competency level of the existing local workforce,” she said.
For this, iLEAP aims to provide opportunities for the existing local workforce in the energy sector to upskill and gain recognised qualifications in technical areas such as marking-fitting, scaffolding, rigging and blasting-painting through on-the-job training and mentoring at appointed registered training organisations (RTOs).
Following completion of training, the trainees will be awarded the Brunei National Occupational Skills Standards (BNOSS) approved Industry Skill Certificate (ISC) qualification.
The qualification has been endorsed by the Brunei Darussalam National Accreditation Council and benchmarked to be equivalent to international standards.
Hajah Rosita noted that in support of the industry’s forward movement, the programme will be jointly sponsored by MPEC, which will fund half the training cost at RTO.
This programme has been developed by MISC-WG Energy in collaboration with the Lifelong Learning Centre (L3C) and the Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE), which supports the national aspiration to develop a highly-skilled workforce, while at the same time provide career development opportunities to local employees.
The newly-launched SkillsHub, an initiative developed by MISC-WG Energy, L3C and industry players, is a regulated centralised one-stop information platform that brings together the supply of training from industry operators, training providers and companies recognised by the industry.
It aims to provide lifelong learning opportunities for the workforce to attain the highest possible professional development through affordable and accessible quality training and training facilities with the support of close industry collaboration.
“SkillHub’s vision is to make training more accessible and affordable for all, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs). We will be offering short value-added programmes via L3C soon and some of these training will be offered for free,” she said.
MISC Energy’s focus is not limited to developing programmes; it has also identified key enablers that will support the development of the manpower ecosystem in the nation.
“First is the competence monitoring tool, SkillUP, implemented in 2021. This tool had been handed over to MPEC for wider implementation beyond the energy sector.
“The second key enabler is the development of competent assessors. To date, 21 assessors have been trained and certified, and we hope to see more join this pool of critical resources.
“The third is salary guidelines for the energy industry which will be introduced in phases. The first phase covering the five technical trades will be published by the end of this year, Insya Allah,” Hajah Rosita said.
The event also saw the presentation of appreciation certificates to four companies who participated in iLEAP, and nine companies who participated as industrial placement (IP) host companies for the first cohort of iSkill trainees.
Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew visited the exhibition showcased by MISC-WG Energy and its strategic partners. This included the MPEC Secretariat, Department of Energy at the PMO, L3C, IBTE, Safety, Health and Environment National Authority (SHENA), Brunei LNG Sdn Bhd and Brunei Asia Pacific Shell Learning Hub (BAPSLH).