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Population and Labour Force1 Population and Labour Force: Dynamics and Challenges in Brunei Darussalam Dr SY Teo.

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Presentation on theme: "Population and Labour Force1 Population and Labour Force: Dynamics and Challenges in Brunei Darussalam Dr SY Teo."— Presentation transcript:

1 Population and Labour Force1 Population and Labour Force: Dynamics and Challenges in Brunei Darussalam Dr SY Teo

2 Population and Labour Force2 Demographic Trends Population Growth (1999-2003):

3 Population and Labour Force3 Demographic Trends Population Growth (1960-2001):

4 Population and Labour Force4 Population and Demographic Changes Brunei has a small but steadily growing population (see previous tables) with an annual growth rate of 1.8 in 2001. The total population amounted to 348,800 comprising of 176,300 males and 172,500 females according to latest available statistics.

5 Population and Labour Force5 Pie Chart showing Age Composition

6 Population and Labour Force6 Observations Brunei has a young population, 50 percent are below the age of 24 and about 32 percent of its population under 15 (this refers to both Citizens and PRs. This number is larger than percentages for similar age group in developed economies such as Australia (22 percent) and the US (26 percent).

7 Population and Labour Force7 An important human resource question: Whether or not there will be adequate employment opportunities for this large expansion in the local workforce?

8 Population and Labour Force8 Challenges Young adults are the country’s greatest assets for the present and future. Therefore it is essential that the employment needs of this young population must not be overlooked especially as youth unemployment is increasingly occupying centre stage. According to 1995 LFS, more than 25 percent of unemployed persons aged less than 20.

9 Population and Labour Force9 Current situations Brunei relies heavily on immigrant workers for both skilled technical and managerial positions as well as for the lower paid retailing and construction sector. The influx of guest workers has significantly altered Brunei’s population growth and its ethnic composition. For instance, Other racial groups have increased their share of total population from approximately 3 percent in 1971 to 6 percent in 1981 and it reached 11 percent by 1991.

10 Population and Labour Force10 Opportunities or Threat? Good? –Complements to local workforce – still needs expatriate workers in the economic growth to bridge the demand for skilled labour Bad? –Substitutes –A large influx of workers in industries and sectors that locals could be employed

11 Population and Labour Force11 Points for ponder Contrary to neighbouring country such as Singapore which is facing an acute problem of ageing population -health care financing - replacement rate - dependency burden - first wave of baby boomers are retiring - revising statutory retirement age 62-67 Instead, Brunei is facing a large young population and targeting this young population needs a different set of policies

12 Population and Labour Force12 Critical Review (1) Are the young finding it difficult to find a job, employed, unemployed? (unemployment issues) If employed, are they equipped with appropriate skills for nation building (human resource development & management, particularly to relieve mismatch workforce)

13 Population and Labour Force13 Critical Review (2) If unemployed, are they being choosy as reported (motivational workshop), jobs taken by guest workers especially on lower skill occupations (labour market policies), not enough jobs (job creation)

14 Population and Labour Force14 Policy objectives Increase the probability that the unemployed will find jobs Those who are employed to increase their productivity and earnings

15 Population and Labour Force15 Policy initiatives We need a multitude of factors: At macro level: A cultivation of a competitive business environment An efficient infrastructure more flexible and dynamic industrial structure to encourage investment (entrepreneurial level) Continue on slide 16..

16 Population and Labour Force16 Less outsourcing of lower-skilled service activities to other countries Appropriate incentives to induce work effort A quality workforce Improved workplace practices

17 Population and Labour Force17 Possible recommendation on active policies (at micro level) Annual pay reviews - seniority-based pay system (public) - performance-based pay system (private) Apprenticeship programme to be introduced from upper secondary level Training, Retraining, skills upgrading made compulsory (*) Attitude adopt to be less stereotyping about gender roles

18 Population and Labour Force18 In Chile, for example, training taskforce comprising representatives of employers, employees and the Government. This tripartism strengthens accountability while offering the taskforce the autonomy necessary to respond to the needs of today’s dynamic economy.

19 Population and Labour Force19 More recommendations Attitude towards “work” & “responsibility” Job search assistance (both in public and private sectors) Micro-enterprise development and self- employment (research on the proportion of businesses that survive,the number of additional jobs created and other business support services) Constant effort is needed to monitor and evaluate the policies in order to ensure quality

20 Population and Labour Force20 The major challenge in the decades ahead is to tread the fine line between promoting economic competitiveness and protecting the economic wellbeing of its people.

21 Population and Labour Force21 Thank You Further discussion, please contact: Dr Siew Yean Teo Department of Economics Faculty of Business, Economics & Policy Studies E-mail:

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