Eleven vocational courses slated to begin at the Centre of Capacity Building (PPK) this August and November are expected to produce over 600 local graduates for jobs demanded by Brunei’s private sector.
The August intake for blaster painter operator, heavy vehicle driver (HVD), insulator, marker fitter, rigger, scaffolder, fitter mechanic, welder and sales assistant are expected to total around 200 trainees, while November’s intake looks to produce 250 domestic electricians and 240 bus drivers.
PPK’s director Gary Young said the PPK enrollment matches the workforce demanded by the different industries, ensuring trainees completing their courses – lasting between one to six months – have job opportunities upon graduating.
“We build the course competencies based on feedback (conducted by the Ministry of Energy, Manpower & Industry) with stakeholders on what specific industries’ manpower’s needs are,” said Young at PPK’s open day last weekend. “This ensures the right number of graduates are trained to have the right practical (trade) skills to match the job opportunities demanded by these industries.”
According to Young, 99% of the 1,400 locals who have graduated PPK’s courses have received job offers from companies, the majority who are involved in the construction of Hengyi Industries’ oil refinery and petrochemical plant. The job offers typically come from the companies whom the trainees completed one to two-month attachments to as part of their course.
With the exception of the sales assistants who are expected to work in retail stores, the remaining August intake are being trained specifically for jobs demanded by the oil and gas sector.
Meanwhile, the domestic electricians are expected to work in residential and commercial properties, while the bus drivers will fill the role of “bus captains” within the Land Transport Department’s revamped public transport system.
PPK is arguably the most accessible post-secondary education for Bruneians, designed to help those leaving school without any passes or credits.
All PPK courses are fully funded by the government and are open to citizens and permanent residents between 18 to 40-years-old who are physically fit. Applicants must also have completed Year 11 under SPN21 or PMB (Form 3) under the previous system.
Applicants will undergo interviews before being accepted into any course which carries a monthly allowance of $300. Starting full-time salaries for PPK graduates can reach $700 per month for jobs in the upstream oil and gas sector.
For courses leading to jobs outside upstream oil and gas, PPK has developed a “top-up” salary framework where graduates can receive between $100 to $300 monthly from the government for up to 36 months in addition to their monthly salary. Young explained however that the top-up would apply only for jobs with starting salaries much less than $700.
He added that each course had a career pathway capable of offering much beyond the graduates’ starting salary as they acquire experience and achieve promotions.
“As an example; an HVD can move up to a senior driver, then an HVD trainer and ultimately a logistics manager as they gain industry experience,” said Young.
Applications for August’s intake are open until July 12. Those interested can apply online here.