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$15m allocated for I-RDY

A PROVISION of $15 million has been allocated for the establishment of the Apprenticeship Programme, known as I-RDY (i-ready), to enhance the marketability and employability of young jobseekers.


This was highlighted by YB Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Ibrahim, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance II yesterday during the afternoon session of the 13th Legislative Council Meeting while detailing the budget allocation for various human capacity building schemes which are intended to prepare locals with appropriate skills and qualifications for building the nation.


The scheme will commence on April 1, 2017, and hopes to solve the issue on mismatching between qualifications of graduates and the work offered.


“Sixty-five per cent of fresh graduates will be assisted through the i-ready scheme which will run concurrently with four other programmes, namely Learning and Grow; Growth for Excellence; Upskilling and Reskilling; and Training Grant.


“Participants of the scheme will also receive suitable allowance for a maximum period of three years,” he added.


Prior to this announcement, the minister highlighted that knowledgeable and highly skilled youths are needed for the development of the nation and they can effectively overcome the current social and economic challenges.


According to the minister, the human capacity building should be implemented in a holistic manner to gain valuable knowledge and skills. These include entrepreneurial capacity; taking an ownership attitude, values, positive ethics and progressive outlook through structured programmes, appropriate and moulded performance or outcome.


He cited the recent report from the Global Youth Development Index 2016 complied by the Commonwealth Secretariat whereby Brunei has jumped to 31st position measured by the status of young people in 183 countries.

“This rating indicates the government’s planning and investment on youth development in many areas, including education, health and welfare has yielded positive results.


“In addition, the government will continue to focus on the development in the education sector, including training the youth in this country. Educated youths can improve the performance and quality of life as well as assist the government’s efforts in eradicating poverty,” he added.


Among the priorities under this category are the government’s efforts through the Ministry of Education to improve achievement in literacy and numeracy in all schools. To this end, a programme has been set up to create ‘International Coaches’ as agents of change with a provision of $17 million.


Other expenditure priorities highlighted by the minister include scholarship allocation of $47.2 million provided by the Ministry of Education and $2.54 million under the Ministry of Religious Affairs; $23.8 million overall allowance for students and $50 million for the education service.


“In addition to the Government Scholarship Scheme, Education Loan Facility Scheme will continue to provide opportunities for qualified students to continue their studies in institutions of higher education locally or overseas. Since the launch of the scheme in August 2014, loans worth about $22.2 million have been approved involving a total of 607 students for pursuing first degree in various fields, including religious and Arabic studies,” added the minister.


He went on to list other programmes and initiatives of the government in providing human capacity building among youths, which include religious programmes embedded in school curriculum, collaborations with the private sector to foster a culture of entrepreneurship among students, involvement with the National Entrepreneurship Agenda (NEA) implementation of the Industry Competency Framework (ICF), improving quality of technical and vocational education as well as raising awareness on financial literacy.


The Energy and Industry Department at the Prime Minister’s Office will also continue to take steps to strengthen the ecosystem for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through various efforts conducted by DARe (Darussalam Enterprise), the minister added.



Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin, 08 March 2017