Brunei: Overcoming local unemployment by transforming TVET

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Foreign workers make up the majority of Brunei’s workforce – 70% of the country’s 150,000 population.  Working in Brunei is attractive, as there is no income tax to pay and the cost of living is much lower than in many western countries.  As a result, local unemployment has reached 10%.

Brunei workforceThere is a shortage of skilled labour in the country – so local organisations have to look abroad for workers with specialist skills.  The government is seeking to limit the number of foreign workers in the country, through investing in up skilling their own.

A closer look at Brunei

Brunei’s small, wealthy economy is a mixture of foreign and domestic entrepreneurship, government regulation, and welfare measures.  Oil and natural gas production account for about 90% of its GDP – ranking Brunei one of the highest in Asia and the fifth richest nation (out of 182).

Brunei is standing out for its commitment to its own workforce.

A globalised environment calls for a skilled workforce

Brunei’s Ministry of Education is transforming their Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system to align training programmes more with the needs of the economy.

This is highlighted in the National Vision, Wawasan 2035, which envisions an educated, highly skilled workforce, a quality of life, a dynamic and sustainable income per capita, placing within the top 10 countries.

Key changes to establish a new Brunei Technical Education include course restructuring, expanding apprenticeship schemes, Continuing Education & Training (CET) opportunities, and campus development.

For this to happen, a sound educational system is vital.

Under the new structure, TVET provides 6 opportunities for students to learn hands-on skills and competencies required in the workplace.  These skills are highly sought-after by the industry and TVET will be providing students with skills-based instructions that would benefit those dexterous learners more than other learning styles.

The success of an education system hinges on its ability to meet the different needs of students through alternative pathways, including that of a quality post-secondary TVET approach.  This is a primary responsibility of the government.  A highly educated and skilled workforce will help to promote investments and build a modern economy that creates quality employment opportunities, especially in the private sector.

A first-class post-secondary education institution

With its regional ties with and dedication to raising the education standards through collaborative methods, Brunei is on its way to achieving its 2035 vision – creating a whole new world of education now and for future generations.

Interested in finding out more?  Follow these links:

To improve your TVET system to be world-class, please contact Wendy Perry via

October 2015

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