The nature of Oman’s demographic profile with a massive cohort of young people means that providing jobs is the biggest challenge for the government.
The recent launch of “Individual Licensing” services by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation is expected to go a long way in making the Omani youth fully skilled and shaping them to become capable of encountering any task as far as their employability is concerned.
Codenamed “Training — A hand that builds Oman”, the electronic platform unveiled in line with the goals of Oman Vision 2040 will impart private training to the aspiring youth by experts in the respective fields.
According to Dr Rahma bint Ibrahim al Mahrouqiyah, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, training has brought about many achievements that contributed to meeting labour market needs.
“Education and training play a key role in Oman’s long-term development plans. Training has been accorded a great importance by the government since the dawn of the blessed renaissance”, she says.
The initiative seeks to simplify procedures and attract investments, particularly during exceptional conditions like the Covid-19 pandemic.
Experts expect the new initiative to streamline and expedite procedures related to private training, besides establishing a real database of private training, promotion and fair competition among private training institutions and furnishing a lucrative environment for investment in private training.
According to Hamed al Balushi, a human resource expert, the new endeavour will provide a legal and professional climate and eventually end non-professional and unethical training practices.
“This will not only help develop future skills and tap the expertise of human resources in various spheres. This will also end the malpractices adopted by private training institutes”, he said.
The transition from education to employment presents a significant challenge for young people who are central to a country’s development, so it is essential they learn the necessary skills required to be future leaders at all levels.
“When considering their education and training, one must look beyond job specific skills and foster individuals’ capabilities in a wide variety of settings”, he said. Individual licensing is designed to enable professionals to offer quality training that will add value in upgrading cognitive economy.
According to a statement, the applicants can register through the platform and get their prospective training programmes endorsed prior to being presented to the public.
Fundamental to the Oman’s long-term development plans, education and training have long been a central focus both for government expenditure and private sector investment.
Oman Vision 2040 focuses on education as it is one of the national priorities with the aim of preparing the national workforce with competencies and skills to help them locally and internationally.
The ministry of higher education is responsible for regulating and licensing public and private colleges and universities, and ensuring that all institutions meet international standards and support government objectives. Technical colleges and vocational training institutes are overseen by the Ministry of Labour.
Linking the educational system to the requirements of the labour force is a dominant theme of the sector.
The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation in conjunction with the Ministry of Labour, are tasked with developing a competent local labour force to provide jobs for Omani citizens and address the country’s economic diversification objectives.
To address this challenge and to regulate labour market discrepancies, the 10th Five Year Development Plan endorses policies that contribute to modifying the structure of employment and introducing a new structure based on a wide base of skilled manpower through recruitment of skilled labour and by offering incentives.
The Plan is expected to create 135,000 jobs at the rate of 27,000 jobs annually in the public and private sectors, and it will work to find global markets for the small and medium enterprises.