Brunei’s oil and gas sector is hoping to reach 78 per cent or 31,795 local employees by 2025 compared to the current 62 per cent or 18,746 Bruneians, revealed the Manpower Industry Steering Committee (MISC) Working Group for Energy (MISC-WG Energy) on Wednesday.

The 2025 target was mentioned in the Industry’s Guidebook 2021 by the MISC-WG Energy during an Engagement Day held at the Grand Hall of V-Plaza, Kuala Belait.

MISC-WG Energy Lead, Hjh Rosita Hassan delivering her opening remarks during the MISC-WG Energy Engagement Day held at the Grand Hall of V-Plaza, Kuala Belait. Image: Wardi Wasil

In her opening speech during the event MISC-WG Energy Lead, Hjh Rosita Hassan shared that the Brunei Shell Joint Venture recruited 1,771 local staff throughout 2020, despite the pandemic and the impact from the low oil prices.

Out of that number, she added, 936 of the local staff were fresh recruits from secondary schools and higher institutions.

“The local employment has increased from 59 per cent in 2019 to 63 per cent by the end (of) 2020. Alhamdulilah, I applaud the resilience and perseverance shown by many stakeholders to make this happen,” she said. 

Image: Shutterstock

Hjh Rosita, who is also the In-Country Value Manager of Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) explained that the local employment outlook is expected to grow even further within the next five years which can be attributed to two main sources.

These sources are the creation of job opportunities, especially from the downstream energy sector and also through local foreign replacement.

“There will be a strong demand for oil and gas construction activities and skills such as welding, scaffolding, blaster painted, marker fitter and riggers,” she said.

The Industry’s Guidebook 2021 by MISC-WG Energy. Image: Courtesy MISC Energy

She added that due to the high demand for such skills, MISC Energy has prioritised the development of the iSkill programmes with the first Ntech iSkill Level 3 for the welding intake beginning in August last year with 20 students.

“In January 2021, IBTE rolled out the four programmes at ISQ Level 2 with the enrollment of 400 students,” continued Hjh Rosita.

iSkill is a new competence development programme that was developed through close collaboration between the local energy industry, the MISC-WG Energy and the Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE).

Guests attending MISC-WG Energy Engagement Day held at the Grand Hall of V-Plaza, Kuala Belait. Image: Wardi Wasil

The iSkill Qualification is a competence-based qualification developed by the industry’s subject matter experts and the IBTE competence and assessment development technical teams whereby a comprehensive review was conducted on IBTE-run programmes that centre around the energy sector.

The programme, which follows current industry demands was established specifically to augment the employability gap in the oil and gas sectors as it prescribes a higher level of skill-based competence assessment with an emphasis towards practical and real work exposure to the industry.

MISC Energy will continue to develop other iSkill programmes to meet the industry requirement, added Hjh Rosita, with six new programmes currently in progress namely; mechanical technicians, electrical technicians, NDT inspectors, plant operators, instrumentation technicians and crane operators.

Image: Shutterstock

The latest engagement day organised by the MISC-WG Energy was a continuation of the last two industry engagements; the competence framework industry engagement in March and the registered training organisation (RTO) market engagement day in August last year.

As such, the MISC-WG Energy lead went on to highlight the importance of having engagement sessions as a platform to continue dialogue centred on local manpower development, as the industry needs to step up in order to create more local employment opportunities.

Several presentations were also lined up to inform the audience on various topics such as the projected manpower demand in the energy industry, and plans made by MISC-WG Energy together with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Energy to address the increasing supply of skilled workers of the industry and market.

(From L to R) Dr Chin Wei Keh, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Higher Education), Ministry of Education (MOE), Dato Seri Paduka Hj Matsatejo Sokiaw, Deputy Minister of Energy, Hjh Rosita Hassan, MISC-WG Energy Lead, and Rob Van Velden, BSP Finance Director. Image: Wardi Wasil

The event also saw the official launching of the SkillUP digital application, a career and skills tracking application for contractors, employees and regulators in the energy industry and has the potential to be rolled out to other industries.

The platform allows individuals to record their learning and training progress with every achievement or additional experience.

Present as the guest of honour at the event was Deputy Minister of Energy, Dato Seri Paduka Hj Matsatejo Sokiaw.

Also in attendance were Deputy Permanent Secretary (Higher Education) at the Ministry of Education Dr Chin Wei Keh as the Deputy Chairman of the MISC, key stakeholders from Prime Minister’s Office, MOE, Ministry of Energy, MPEC Secretariat, other relevant government agencies and leaders from operators and suppliers in the Energy Industry.

The Bruneian | BELAIT

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