First national professional standards package in oil, gas sectors inauguration

Muscat: The Ministry of Manpower has inaugurated the first package of national professional standards in the oil and gas sectors under the patronage of Salim bin Nasser al Oufi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Oil and Gas.

The aim of the launch is to develop a sustainable system of professional standards to have a direct impact on national workforce development initiatives and the work environment, and to consolidate the concepts of national professional standards and professional competency tests in the Omani labor market.  It also aims at creating an integrated system to support health professional practices, raise productivity and competency of workers, raise quality of products and services, in addition to contributing to national labour training and qualifying them to the professions of the private sector on the one hand and control labor market inputs from the expatriate labor force on the other hand.

This program is intended to develop human capital and to produce batches of qualified national labour, equipped with all the scientific, practical and workable skills.  It requires the establishment of specific national standards for all professions by adapting these standards to the sector’s qualifications, skills and experience.

The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Oil and Gas said that this initiative is part of the local value added program and aims to set global standards for many professions in the labor market.  He added that the lack of clear professional standards adopted within the country make expatriates come to the country without the existence of real standards to control their qualifications and their competence and thus the lack of real competition between the Omani student graduating from technical institutions with high standards and the expatriate.

He pointed out that the initiative raises the level of Omani youths and thus gives them the opportunity to compete in the market with excellent efficiency.  He added that the next step will be to expand the standards of work of these different professions, starting with seven specific occupations and this would be followed by establishing rules for testing and evaluating expatriates, whether living or coming to the Sultanate, by checking on their necessary expertise and competencies to complete the work. –ONA