Labour recruitment and stability of job need of the hour

Haider Al Lawati –
haiderdawood@hotmail.com –

It seems that the dilemma of recruiting 25,000 citizens in the private sector in a specific period of time was not difficult for the Ministry of Manpower, which was keen from the outset to assume this national responsibility under the Royal directives of His Majesty the Sultan, together with the decision of the Council of Ministers in this regard.
The private sector was not reluctant to refuse to employ citizens in the required specialties within the framework of the decisions announced by the ministry concerned regarding Omanisation rates in each sector.
The Ministry of Manpower has recently announced that 26,103 citizens were recruited by the private sector by the end of April, exceeding the set target.
Data shows that the majority of the job-seekers were hired in the construction sector at 35 per cent, followed by wholesale and retail sector at 14.6 per cent and 13.5 per cent in the manufacturing sector, considering that these sectors have always been gradually operated by Omanis since the last four decades.
Despite these efforts, many Omani job-seekers still prefer to work in government institutions and in certain prestigious sectors, such as banks, oil and gas companies, insurance and others based on the benefits offered by these sectors.
The Ministry of Manpower has never stopped following up on recruitment of Omani cadre, and it is — undoubtedly — continuing its efforts to provide opportunities for job-seekers and conduct interviews with companies and institutions concerned to speed up the recruitment process of citizens in various economic and service sectors.
Despite these efforts, the work environment in the private sector is marred with instability of employees and frequent leaving of Omani workers.
According to the annual report by the Ministry of Manpower for 2016, the number of national manpower leaving their jobs in the private sector stood at 56,036 male and female citizens, of which 37,683 or 67.2 per cent submitted their resignations and the rest were removed for different reasons.
Those who completed their services in the private sector institutions in 2016 stood at 18,363 or 32.8 per cent.
Career turnover is the rotation of staff within the institution during a certain period of time, whether on their own will, being fired or transferred by the institution itself, for compelling reasons such as death or retirement or other reasons. Over the past years many employers are worried that the job market in Oman is plagued with instability and career turnover.
Therefore, can career instability and turnover be considered negative and the main reason for increased number of job-seekers? However, it has to be realised that career turnover is normal in the ever-changing job market which lacks many elements that provide suitable environment for Omanis to hold on to their jobs.
This requires companies and institutions to develop internal regulations to organise work and explain the system of wages, benefits, incentives and training and career development programmes, as well as other matters of interest to employers, employees and the establishment. Such regulations should be approved and implemented under the supervision of the Ministry of Manpower.
This often leads to stability of the employee in his/her job.
Each year, the Omani market is witnessing the entry of 30,000 to 40,000 graduates from different educational levels. These numbers are expected to rise in the coming years, which requires a strategy to identify the Sultanate’s needs for each technical and administrative post, and thus work on education and training of Omani cadre to gradually replace expatriate workforce.