Stepping stone for construction industry jobs for locals

Izah Azahari

The Manpower Planning and Employment Council (MPEC) and the Ministry of Development (MoD) will support the Manpower Industry Steering Committee (MISC) in Construction in continuing to host schemes such as the ARMECS Bridging Programme 1.0, so that locals can find employment in the construction industry, where there are vast opportunities for nation-building.

This was said by Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar during a presentation of certificates of achievement to 31 trainees who completed six months of training at architect and professional engineer firms, under the ARMECS Bridging Programme 1.0 yesterday.

The certificate presentation was held at the Authority for Building Control and Construction Industry (ABCi) building.

Fifteen of the trainees are resident technical officers (RTOfs), company site representatives (CSRep) and clerks of works (CoWs) (RCC Visors), while the remaining 16 are in drafting.

The minister also congratulated the trainees who will be working at construction and consultant companies, until March 2022.

Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar plants a sapling while Legislative Council member Yang Berhormat Fdr Ar Siti Rozaimeriyanty binti Dato Seri Laila Jasa Haji Abdul Rahman looks on. PHOTOS: IZAH AZAHARI
A section of the trainees

“By providing the trainees with instruction, guidance and experience through skilled and accomplished instructors, each graduate from this programme has been equipped with the tools and knowledge as supervisors and drafters in the construction industry,” he said.

It is hoped that such programmes will support the MoD’s efforts in increasing the competitiveness and marketability of the local workforce in alignment with the Local Business Development Directive – to train and employ – which is being drafted and will be introduced soon.

Earlier, Legislative Council member Yang Berhormat Fdr Ar Siti Rozaimeriyanty binti Dato Seri Laila Jasa Haji Abdul Rahman, in her capacity as Co-Chairperson of MISC, detailed the five-week engagement with contractors, consultants, suppliers and jobseekers, in addition to working with the team to understand industry requirements and the development of the bridging programme in July 2020. “It is our objective to boost the capabilities of our local workforce and make them industry-ready for Brunei’s development,” she said, adding that “This will only be possible with the tripartite partnership between industry, regulators and educational/training institutions with the guidance of Manpower Planning and Employment Councils, to have more of our local workforce involved in our construction industry”.

Permanent Secretary (Infrastructure, Housing and Professional) at the MoD Ir Haji Amer Hishamuddin bin Pehin Orang Kaya Amar Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Haji Zakaria, also in his capacity as the Co-Chairman of MISC, said the training structure was arranged together with the industry and in accordance with academic needs, through Politeknik Brunei.

“This included making daily reports and undergoing assessments by trainers, to ensure the effectiveness of the programme in meeting the needs of the industry,” he said.

Deputy Minister of Development Dato Seri Paduka Ar Awang Haji Marzuke bin Haji Mohsin, Deputy Minister of Education Datin Seri Paduka Dr Hajah Romaizah binti Haji Mohd Salleh, permanent secretaries, deputy permanent secretaries, heads of departments, managing directors and construction companies representatives were also present.

The trainees received their certificates of achievement issued by Politeknik Brunei, through a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between MISC Construction and Politeknik Brunei.

The minister also led in the planting of 50 saplings, as an effort towards a greener environment, in support of the Green Protocol.

The implementation of the bridging programme is one of the initiatives introduced by MISC Construction, to increase the marketability of Brunei citizens and ensure that local jobseekers acquire the skills and competencies in the construction industry.

MISC Construction plans to introduce more programmes to encourage jobseekers to venture into the field of construction, ranging from professional level to highly skilled workers.