As the digital era grows, countries around the world are tasked to ensure that their workforce is equipped with the necessary skills to thrive.
The statement was highlighted by Haji Mohammad Nazri bin Haji Mohammad Yusof, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications, while delivering his opening remarks during the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC) of Brunei Darussalam’s virtual workshop on H.I.R.E.D. (Harnessing Impact with Resilient Employability Digitally) yesterday.
Haji Mohammad Nazri further emphasized the significance of the education system in preparing students and graduates for the various roles and responsibilities expected of them to meet the demands of the new economy. Among the skills and capabilities that the nation currently lacks include cyber security specialists, data engineers, artificial intelligence experts and Internet-of-Things.
According to him, the Digital Economy Council launched the Digital Economy Masterplan last year in supporting the Wawasan Brunei 2035 by focusing on three strategic outcomes – digital and future-ready society, vibrant and sustainable economy, and digitally conducive ecosystem.
“The Digital Economy Masterplan outlines four major strategic thrusts, but o importance today is the fourth strategic thrust focused on manpower and talent development”, said Haji Mohammad Nazri.
Nine sectors were identified in the Masterplan that needed to be addressed and supported, including logistics and transformation, energy, business services, tourism, financial services, health, education, halal and construction.
For Manpower and Talent Development, he further shared that the nation looks forward to an increasing workforce in the I.C.T. sector, an increase in the number of I.C.T. professionals and an increase in the digital literacy rate among the general workforce to take on the challenges of the digital economy.
Haji Mohammad Nazri praised the initiatives carried out in the HIRED projects.
“We need more industry-driven initiatives that can drive and support digitalization”.
“Industry can move much faster than the government, and we must support one another in achieving a Smart Nation. There is a need for more diverse digital skillsets, and these skillsets can be developed through training and apprenticeship programmes offered by the industry”.
HIRED Virtual Workshop
The virtual workshop offers a platform for employers to discuss and identify solutions for their data analytic skills needs. It was part of a pilot internship programme under HIRED Legacy Project in partnership with the U.K.’s Department for International Trade with the support of the UK-ASEAN Business Council.
The workshop’s main goal was to educate participants and increase awareness of the professional standards, competency criteria, and skill possibilities based on employers’ demands for data analytics.
His Excellency John Virgoe, British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam, stated as “ASEAN’s first new Dialogue Partner in 25 years, the U.K. is delighted to support HIRED, boosting the region’s data analysis capability, which is key to sustainable growth and job creation”.
The majority of the participating employers, during the workshop, emphasized the importance of soft skills in communicating data effective enough to present an honest and accurate story.
Other topics covered include data analysis to forecast future trends and supporting decision making.
Honourable Siti Rozaimeriyanty D.S.L.J. Haji Abdul Rahman, Chair of ASEAN BAC, emphasized that “it is important for businesses and the government to work together to ensure that they are taking the necessary measures towards creating a better-equipped workforce”.
Brunei Darussalam Digital Economy Masterplan 2025 under the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications outlines strategies to become a smart nation with a digital and future-ready workforce. The country aspires towards an educated, highly skilled and accomplished nation of Wawasan 2035.
The HIRED legacy project hopes to contribute to supporting Brunei and ASEAN workforce towards an inclusive and sustainable digital future.