PPP key to National Training Fund’s strategy

By Business Reporter — MUSCAT: Jan 29 – The National Training Fund (NTF) held its first board meeting chaired by Dr Mohammed bin Hamad al Rumhy, Minister of Oil and Gas. The National Training Fund, set up by Royal Decree 48/2016, aims to build the capabilities of the Omani workforce in order to bridge the gap between the market supply and demand. NTF aims to foster collaboration amongst priority sectors to identify employment opportunities and understand current requirements as well as future needs. In order to be able to achieve its goals the Fund has taken first steps towards evaluating the current state of training efforts, benchmarking with experienced nations, and developing a roadmap that will assist in implementation.

The meeting served the purpose of aligning the board members, as well as reviewing the strategic objectives and key milestones set for the year 2017. Some of the focus areas discussed include mapping employment opportunities in strategic projects across the Sultanate. In addition, NTF plans on conducting numerous stakeholder engagement initiatives in order to align the private, public and employment market with the main purpose of developing a database that illustrates the Omani workforce supply vs. demand requirements. This will all be done in parallel while establishing the policies and procedures that govern NTF. Dr Al Rumhy, Chairman of the board, placed emphasis on the fundamental need for the Fund to direct its resources efficiently towards strategic projects and national initiatives that will create jobs and reduce the number of jobseekers nationally.

Public-Private-Partnership is crucial in allowing this to materialise. This can only be achieved through thorough research and studies, and collaborative partnerships. The fundamental priority for the fund is to facilitate in the creation of jobs and capability building of Omanis. The members of the board includes two members of the private sectors, two members of the government sectors and two experts, including Dr Said bin Hamed al Rubaii, Secretary General of the Education Council, as Vice Chairman; Dr Muna bint Salim al Jardani, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Manpower for Technical Education and Vocational Training; Dr Ali bin Qassim al Lawati, Advisor for Studies and Research to the Diwan of Royal Court; Raoul Restucci, Managing Director of Petroleum Development Oman (PDO); Hani Mohammed al Zubair, Director at The Zubair Corporation and Chairman of Zubair Automotive Group; and Mohamed bin Jafar al Lawati, as Private Sector representatives; and Sharifa bint Tahir Aidid, CEO of NTF.