Wednesday, March 29, 2023 | Ramadan 6, 1444 H
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For a knowledge-based labour market

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The recent roll-out of the National Employment Programme (NEP) is all set to create a labour market filled with nationals who are qualified and skilled in their respective fields.

The programme, which stems from Oman Vision 2040, seeks to fill the gap between knowledge and skills needed by the labour market so that the unemployed get jobs depending on their availability. Education and training have long been fundamental to the Sultanate’s long-term development plans and central to Oman Vision 2040.

The government has always stressed on upgrading education that suits the labour market needs with focus on technical and vocational education. One of the goals in Vision 2040 is developing a favourable environment to attract talent in the labour market. For this purpose, it outlines, “a national system that empowers human capabilities in the educational sector and nurtures scientific research, innovation and creativity to build a knowledgebased economy and society”.

His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik approved the launch of the Programme this week with a target of finding sustainable solutions to provide jobs to nationals in both public and private sectors, in addition to keeping track of their data till they enter the job market. While stressing on the need to upgrade the quality of school education and adapt its outcomes in accordance with labour market needs as outlined in Oman Vision 2040, His Majesty underscored the importance of accelerating procedures necessary for analysing the requirements of technical and vocational education for the post-basic education stage. In a recent interview to Oman TV, Dr Mahad bin Said Baowain, the Minister of Labour, said that NEP will focus on creating plans related to different sectors and studying the smoothness of business in terms of identifying job opportunities and the types of qualification and training required.

With regard to Omanisation, he told the national channel, “we look at the sectors in which appropriate nationalisation can take place in accordance with the programmes that are planned, studied and shared with production parties to reach the best practices”.

According to the minister, the number of beneficiaries of the training programme associated with employment and onthe-job training in the private sector has reached 4,400 people. Vision 2040 stresses on improving educational outcomes that have become necessary to build Omanis’ confidence in their identity and commitment to their social values. “This is attainable through increasing the quality of basic and higher education and developing scientific and educational curricula, so that graduates are acquainted with competitive qualifications and employability skills to enter the local and international labour market”, it envisions. Such graduates, according to the programme, will have an adequate level of productivity and competitiveness to build a knowledgebased economy, enhance job security in the private sector and foster a participatory relation between the private and the public sectors. In addition to this, a developed educational system also entails the development of educational institutions, faculty and staff, the application of international standards for accreditation, the use of modern teaching and learning techniques, and the dissemination thereof as national culture.

It emphasises that a leap is required in quality and quantity in the domain of scientific research and development, through the provision of diverse and sustainable sources of funding to support applied scientific researches to promote innovation in various fields.

​​​​​​​“This will strengthen partnership between the academic and research institutions on the one hand and the private sector on the other”, the vision suggests. Another aspect of joining forces also entails maximising national capabilities through a national system established to nurture talent, creativity and entrepreneurial potential. Vision 2040 defines the national priorities to be achieved through parallel work streams, with the aim of promoting Oman’s position in the different fields over the next two decades. The vision equally outlined the strategic directions, goals and key policies to translate ambitions into action plans underpinned by clear milestones and timelines and progressing against a set of local and international indicators to measure and evaluate the performance in a transparent manner.

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