Minister calls on PUJA to join forces against unemployment

Syazwani Hj Rosli

Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar hoped the Institution of Surveyors, Engineers and Architects (PUJA) Brunei could contribute to the positive transformation of the educated local young manpower, especially in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) to fill in the employment opportunities opened up by the expansion in the infrastructure and industry.

In his speech at the PUJA Full-Term Annual General Meeting 2018/2019 at the Ministry of Development yesterday, the minister said more skilled and semi-skilled workers will be needed for the construction industry.

According to the minister, the youth are graduating in numbers from universities and vocational institutions every year.

“We are facing challenges in grooming the local expertise in the construction industry through healthy and active participation in all the projects,” he said.

“I call on PUJA to play a role through activities and initiatives allowed under its constitution to the higher involvement of local graduates in the construction and other related industries such as energy and manufacturing,” the minister said.

Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar delivers his speech. PHOTO: RAHWANI ZAHARI

The minister also shared that PUJA has achieved many successes, such as being a founding member of ASEAN TVET Programme; entry into Architect Regional Council of Asia (ARCASIA), Conference of the ASEAN Federation of Engineering Organisations (CAFEO) and Pacific Association of Quantity Surveyors (PAQS); the Recognition of PUJA Corporate Membership Route 1 by BAPEQS; the Recognition of PUJA Route 2 for Quantity Surveyors and Professional Engineers; the hosting of Mid-Term Meeting of ASEAN Federation of Engineering Organisations (AFEO); participation of CAFEO 36 in Singapore and CAFEO 37 in Indonesia; establishment of Student Chapter in Politeknik Brunei; and the achievement of Brunei companies receiving five Outstanding AFEO Engineering Awards in 2019 in Jakarta.

Earlier, the minister said, “As the head of a highly motivated, disciplined and dedicated organisation, the PUJA President sits in more than 15 government councils, senates, boards and committees nationally such as in universities and higher education institutions. The president also sits in as Council member in the ASEAN region as the founding member of ASEAN Future Workforce Council, while its members sit in various Government Committees such as Technical Committee of the Brunei National Road Safety Council, Board of Architects, Precessional Engineers and Quantity Surveyors (BAPEQS), and Brunei Darussalam National Accreditation Council. This shows a growing confidence that PUJA can bring about positive contribution to the development of the country in various fields of knowledge on built-environment.”

With the achievements, he called upon PUJA to work closely with the Government 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 to jointly engage in overcoming the major challenges confronting the nation. “I feel the need for us to unite, strengthen and further promote our professions in tackling multiple national issues towards the betterment of our youth and future generation.”