Focus on skills training for Omani youths

MUSCAT, Jan 2 – The government will focus on providing on-the-job training for Omani youths on par with the latest global standards. This is one of the major initiatives in the Oman Budget 2018 aimed at helping Omani youths get jobs.
An amount of RO 62 million has been allocated to the National Training Fund to cover the cost of the training programmes.
“The government gives special emphasis to the training of Omani job-seekers in order to enhance their skills and capacities so that they can join the labour market,” says the budget statement issued by the Ministry of Finance.
The first batch, consisting of 4,300 youths, is currently undergoing training and will be absorbed by companies in different positions.
“The Ministry of Manpower has been coordinating with the companies to employ these youths once they finish the training,” the statement adds. According to the statement, the executive programme to provide 25,000 job opportunities will run until the first half of 2018.
Until the end of December 2017, 4,800 job opportunities have been provided in the private sector. “The employment in public sector shall only be based on a needs basis, and in line with the budget situation,” the statement said.

Several state-owned-enterprises are currently working towards implementing a number of projects during 2018, estimated to cost RO 3 billion.
“This will give a further boost to economic activity, accelerate economic growth and create more jobs,” adds the statement.
The Implementation Support and Follow-Up Unit, which supports the government units concerned to enable them to launch the initiatives on time, will ensure that efforts are made to make employment in the private sector more attractive for Omani job-seekers.
The most important principles of the Ninth Five-Year Development Plan are developing private sector and enhancing its role in the overall economic activity, and improving business environment and investment climate.
According to this plan, the contribution of private sector is estimated at about 52 per cent of total investments. The private sector registered 60 per cent of total investments in 2016.
The statement said the government will take steps to maintain adequate level of public investment with the aim of enhancing economic diversification, increasing employment rates, and strengthening social development.
It will provide allocations required to implement the catalytic initiatives conducive to the development and strengthening the role of SMEs as being one of the most sectors the economy relies on to create jobs for Omani youths. “This is in addition to contributing towards the utilisation of natural resources, maximising economic value and economic diversification,” the statement said.

SAMUEL KUTTY