By Zainab Al Nasseri — MUSCAT: Jan 15 – While excellent and first grade companies support Omanisation through recruitment and training of nationals, the trend is far from uniform across the private sector, Minister of Manpower Shaikh Abdullah bin Nasser al Bakri lamented on Sunday.
Addressing Majlis Ash’shura, which hosted him on Sunday, Al Bakri revealed that the private sector currently employs only 28 Omanis per 1,000 workers in this key sector.
This glaring disparity underscores the need for concerted and collective efforts to boost Omanisation in the private sector, as well as encourage nations to compete for career opportunities in private firms, he stressed. Earlier, the Manpower Minister presented the ministry’s annual report to the Majlis, which focused on four main themes: (i) national manpower employment in the private sector from 2010 to 2016, (ii) enhancing manpower care through workplace inspections and amendments to labour regulations, (iii) technical education and vocational training, and (iv) e-linkages and the transition to e-government.
Using PowerPoint and audiovisual aids, Al Bakri outlined the efforts of the ministry to, among other things, assist Omani job-seekers obtain suitable employment, process expatriate recruitment applications, and support the modernisation of infrastructure through online initiatives to meet to needs of the labour market. This efforts come against a steep increase in demographics, he noted. Against a total population size of 2,340,815 people in 2013, Oman is now home to 4,550,538 people, of whom 2,461,744 are Omanis (2016 figures), he said. Current efforts, the minister said, are focused on making it attractive for young Omanis to take up employment in the private sector. Indeed, Omanis represent a dominant share of workers on the rolls of Excellent and First Grade companies, as well as consulting and international firms.
43,000 JOB-SEEKERS BY 2015
As per the statistics of the Public Authority for Manpower Register the number of job-seekers as of the end of December 2015, crossed 43,000, most of them university degree holders. Speaking to the media, Mohammed bin Salim al Busaidy, Head of Majlis Ash’shura’s Youth and Human Resources Committee, said the number of jobs added by the private sector during the 8th Five-Year Development Plan was only 14,865. In the 9th Five-Year Plan, 6,600 new jobs will be added by the private sector. This means the private sector will not be able to absorb the job-seekers without a radical restructuring of this sector.
“In the previous five-year plans, the private sector has managed to generate a large number of jobs, but most of them went to expats. Therefore we need to address this problem urgently,” he added. He highlighted the need to streamline efforts related to the employment of national manpower through a national sector for employment, one of the outputs of Tanfeedh.