BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Xinhua): Brunei and China have a bright future of cooperation in vocational education, senior officials from both countries said here on Wednesday (Aug 19).
Eighteen students from the Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE) on Wednesday received scholarships from Hengyi Industries Sdn Bhd, a joint petrochemical venture between China and Brunei, who will go to China's Lanzhou Petrochemical Polytechnic College (LPP) as part of Hengyi's second batch of trainees for a year's training programme.
During an interview with Xinhua at the scholarship signing ceremony, Azman Ahmad, permanent secretary in charge of higher education at Brunei's Ministry of Education said the joint training programme between Hengyi, IBTE and LPP is the only overseas training programme for vocational education by a foreign company in Brunei so far, and that the Brunei government appreciates Hengyi's support for local students' further studies.
Hengyi Industries is a petrochemical joint venture between China's Zhejiang Hengyi Group and Damai Holdings Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary under the Brunei government's Strategic Development Capital Fund, owning 70 per cent and 30 per cent of the shares respectively.
"Brunei has been committed to improving vocational education in the country for many years and looked forward to boosting local employment through expanding the capacities of vocational and technical education," Azman said.
He said that China has been very resourceful on vocational education and that there are good prospects for bilateral cooperation in this area.
According to a report from the Asian Development Bank in April this year, Brunei's unemployment rate in 2018 official statistics reached 8.7 per cent, the highest among the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Yu Hong, Chinese ambassador to Brunei, told Xinhua that Hengyi has joined hands with the IBTE and LPP to train local skilled workers through the "college-college-enterprise" cooperation model, which has played an important role in promoting Hengyi's workforce localisation and creating a new model of international cooperation in vocational education between the two countries.
The Chinese ambassador said that the demand for quality and skilled personnel will further increase with the development of Hengyi's petrochemical project in Brunei and the diversification of Brunei's economy.
"China and Brunei will continue to strengthen international exchanges and cooperation in vocational education, create more cooperation platforms for scientific research, technology, school management and joint training, cultivate more high-quality localised talents and make greater contribution to promoting economic and cultural exchanges between the two countries," the Chinese ambassador added.
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