SkillUP set to transform work environment

Daniel Lim

The Manpower Industry Steering Committee Working Group for Energy (MISC-WG Energy) Lead Hajah Rosita binti Hassan yesterday delved into how the newly launched SkillUP application is set to transform the work environment across the nation. The application was developed in tandem with the iSKill programme to ensure the workforce’s skills set meets international standards.

Hajah Rosita said, “2020 proved to be a challenging year, yet despite this, local employment had seen an increase from 59 per cent (2019) to 63 per cent (2020). The local employment outlook is expected to see further growth within the next five years, coming from two main sources – creation of new job opportunities particularly from the downstream energy sector, and through local foreign replacements.”

She said there is a strong demand for oil and gas construction activities and skills such as welding, scaffolding, blaster painter, marker fitter and riggers, which has driven MISC-WG Energy to prioritise the development of the iSkill programme, with 20 new student intakes being enrolled for the first Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE) NTech iSkill (Level 3 Welding) in August 2020.

Additionally, 400 students enrolled in January for the four IBTE ISQ programmes – iSkillTM ISQ Level 2 Scaffolding, iSkillTM ISQ Level 2 Riggers, iSkillTM ISQ Level 2 Blaster Painter, iSkillTM ISQ Level 2 Marker/Pipe Fitter and ISQ Level 2 Welding.

Manpower Industry Steering Committee Working Group for Energy (Lead Hajah Rosita binti Haji Hassan delivers her speech. PHOTO: DANIEL LIM

Through feedback received during previous engagement sessions with industry leaders, MISC-WG Energy developed four key pillars as the foundation for the Energy Industry Competence Framework and its Manpower Development ecosystem. This includes the standardisation of industry skills and competence development, the development of training providers for high quality learning, improvement on the assessment standards and processes, and ensuring trainees receive both real work exposure and sufficient hands on experience to confirm their readiness to join the workforce.

“The Competence Development Framework focusses not only on new trainees, but existing workers wishing to upskill to develop their career. For the existing workers, an apprenticeship programme framework is being developed for implementation in Q3 this year,” she said.

She reaffirmed companies’ and suppliers’ commitment to provide opportunities for local workers to become highly skilled, eventually assuming supervisory and leadership roles.

The SkillUP application, an online competency monitoring tool, provides a platform for industry workers to log their skills, track their competency level and seek approval from relevant agencies.

“This app provides industry workers a career path as all information (pertaining to competency and skills) are uploaded,” she said.

The SkillUp app will be implemented in phases, with the initial launch of the application focussing on five core competencies that are key to the iSkill programme (in the form of the earlier mentioned five IBTE programmes offered)

Plans are also in the work to further expand and diversify into other fields of work related to the industry’s needs.