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Foreign worker licence applications and renewals to speed up, says minister

Azlan Othman

Various agencies have speeded-up the process for new and renewal applications for Foreign Workers Licences to address the foreign labour shortage in the country, especially in the retail industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong said at the daily press conference yesterday. “The matter has been handled by several ministries and discussions have been made with the JobCentre Brunei, Labour Department and regulators on the need to bring in foreign labour.

“From the discussions, a co-ordinated plan has been made to speed-up applications to renew the Foreign Workers Licences and new applications for the licence,” Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar said. “I will share the procedures carried out at the Labour Department in an effort to speed up their applications for the employers and employee agencies to work closely,” the minister added.

“There is a consensus among the JobCentre Brunei, the Labour Department and regulators whereby certain sectors, particularly food security sectors like agriculture, fisheries, agrifood construction and retail should be prioritised, and the time to process applications in these sectors has been speeded-up,” Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar said.

“After the discussions, the JobCentre Brunei has issued clearance letters which will be forwarded by employers or the workers’ agencies to the Labour Department. We approved 71 applications on March 21, 158 on March 22, 95 on March 23, and 110 on March 24.”

Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong. PHOTO: JAMES KON
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