Jobs for all

Muscat: The Omani authorities are sparing no efforts in ensuring jobs for the citizens.

While thousands of Omani graduates are passing out from universities and colleges every year not only from the country alone but also from institutions abroad, finding jobs for all of them is a daunting task.

As the government by itself cannot provide jobs to all those eligible candidates, the role of the private sector in creating employment opportunities assumes importance.

In his speech on the occasion of the National Day celebrations in 2012, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos called on the country’s youth to work in the private sector.

He said the government could no longer be the main job provider in the country, asking Omanis to do “their duty” for this “national mission” by taking private sector work, rather than waiting for government jobs.

“They (citizens) should not hesitate to join the private sector and must not desert their jobs therein (for the public sector),” His Majesty said.

Accordingly, the private sector was asked to revise the salary system for nationals, particularly in low and medium-paid jobs.

In his speech, His Majesty also urged the private sector to increase its contribution to social development and to work in closer partnership with the government in implementing its policies.

The government has been offering several incentives to the private sector which employs more nationals. With these measures, the government hopes to address the problem of unemployment to a great extent.

The 2018 State Budget also supports the Ninth Five-Year Development Plan, the targets of which are linked with aims to increase Oman’s growth rates through stimulation of the private sector and creation of more jobs for citizens.

Oman’s Council of Ministers, on the directives of His Majesty, towards the end of last year came out with a number of decisions in support of Omani job-seekers, including a plan to provide 25,000 jobs in public and private establishments.

They also called upon the private sector establishments to accord maximum priority to Omanisation in their programmes and projects, noting that action will be taken against the establishments that do not cooperate with the government in its Omanisation policies.

Since the campaign to provide jobs Omani nationals started in December last by the Ministry of Manpower, almost 30,000 nationals got jobs in various establishments in the private sector.

Although the ministry could find jobs for more than the targeted figure of 25,000, it doesn’t mean that the process is ending.

“Providing jobs to Omani nationals is the top priority of the government and will continue with the efforts,” said Mohammed Ghalib Ali Al Hinai, Advisor, Human Resource Planning at the Ministry of Manpower.

He said that all Omani nationals who register with the Public Authority Record of Manpower Register (PARMR) will get jobs in accordance with their skills and qualifications.

Al Hinai said that Omanis are the preferred choice for jobs in the private sector.  Hundreds of job-seekers are called for interviews daily, arranged by the ministry for drop-in candidates, and conducted directly by companies.

“The government policy is that foreign workers should be employed only if qualified Omanis are not available for the job,” he told Observer in an interview.

There were 47,000 registered job-seekers till October last year.

According to National Center of Statistics and Information (NCSI), the number of Omani workforce in the private sector touched 222,000 in 2016, increasing by 13,000.

This shows that the private sector has been able to recruit such number of citizens, and thus may create a further 12,000 to 13,000 jobs over 2017.