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Driving local workforce, private sector

Rokiah Mahmud

In supporting the third focus of this year’s fiscal theme – Enhancing Human Resource Competency Towards Work and Future Ready, the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC) is carrying out an initiative dubbed programme.

Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yusof said the programme is in line with the Manpower Industry Steering Committee (MISC).

He said the MTIC through the Authority for Info-Communications Technology Industry (AITI) implemented the programme specifically to upgrade the programming skills of graduates looking for employment. “Alhamdulillah, the first cohort of concluded in December 2021 with 59 participants. As of February, 39 participants have obtained permanent employment,” the minister said.

Meanwhile, in supporting and assisting the private sector to be more resilient and developed, the MTIC also implemented a more conducive Policy and Framework Supervision for Investment and Business.

In facilitating private sector development, especially in handling the COVID-19 outbreak, the ministry has taken initiatives such as carrying out the Brunei ICT Awards (BICTA) to polish competencies and innovation in digital technology; and the Productivity and Efficiency Joint Funding for Digital Adoption Programme (PENJANA) launched by AITI on February 17 to assist local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in adapting digital technology with means to increase their productivity.

Under the programme, according to the minister, AITI funded up to 70 per cent of the cost in using digital solutions.

The MTIC is also providing significant efforts on innovation, research and development – the Council for Research and Advancement in Technology and Science (CREATES) in driving research activities and developments in the field of science and technology.

Following this, the National Science, Technology and Innovation Framework is being prepared to determine the direction and strategy towards national developments to achieve Brunei Vision 2035. The direction of science, technology and innovation is also in line according to the current and relevant needs of the industry.

Through CREATES, a research project towards managing and handling the spread of COVID-19 was carried out in collaboration with Universiti Brunei Darussalam, the Ministry of Health, Singapore Duke-NUS Medical School and Evyd Technology Sdn Bhd. By the end of 2021, 22 project research proposals were received from higher learning institutions and research institutes. From the figure, 12 have been supported by CREATES and are in the process of approval.

CREATES is also reviewing an allocation of BND3 million for a period of three years in supporting the 5G pilot project. This is as a follow-up to the National 5G Taskforce proposal for the implementation towards the development of 5G ecosystem that will benefit the country.


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