BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, June 15 (Xinhua) -- A total of 207 Bruneian students from the diploma programs launched jointly by their vocational education institutes and a Brunei-China joint venture were awarded the Conditional Offer of Employment (COE) on Wednesday.
Hengyi Industries Sdn Bhd is a petrochemical joint venture between China's Zhejiang Hengyi Group and Damai Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary under the Bruneian government's Strategic Development Capital Fund, owning 70 percent and 30 percent of the shares, respectively.
Haji Khairuddin, Brunei's Acting Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister of Finance and Economy, and Yu Hong, the Chinese ambassador to Brunei, were present to witness the COE-signing ceremony.
During the ceremony, representatives signed the COE on behalf of 176 students and 31 students respectively from Politeknik Brunei (PB) and Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE), two local vocational education institutes.
The collaboration with PB and IBTE is an initiative by Hengyi Industries to create a platform where the youths of Brunei have the opportunity to hone and develop their skills, Deputy CEO of Hengyi Industries Zou Hui told Xinhua.
As part of the collaboration, seven diploma programs are offered to PB students, while one diploma program is offered to IBTE students.
All the programs are three-year full-time programs under which the students will undergo two years of studies at the respective institutions and one-year industrial-based learning with Hengyi Industries.
After completion of the programs, the students will be given the opportunity for full-time employment at Hengyi Industries, Zou said.
The COE reflected Hengyi's continuous commitment toward the country's "Bruneianisation Directive," a government initiative to drive the hiring of Bruneians in the private sector, and contribution to bilateral education cooperation and collaboration in the human resources development, Zou added.
Hengyi signed a Memorandum of Understanding in March last year with PB to run tailored academic programs for students, including Thermal Power Plant Technology and Water Treatment Technology, and awarded scholarships to a total of 48 students from the IBTE in August 2020.
The Joint Chemical and Process Engineering Scholarship Program established by Hengyi with Universiti Brunei Darussalam and China's Zhejiang University has also given over 100 local students scholarships to further their study in China and eventually be employed by Hengyi.
Hengyi invested about 3.45 billion U.S. dollars in the first phase of its oil refinery and petrochemical project in Brunei, which went into full operation in November 2019. The company's 13.654-billion-U.S. dollar second phase project is awaiting the green light from the Bruneian government. ■