Monday, June 05, 2023 | Dhu al-Qaadah 15, 1444 H
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Skill tests for all job-seekers!


When the citizens of the country apply for ‎jobs, they have to take tests and a series ‎of interviews in both public and private ‎sectors. On the contrary, I do not know ‎why the expatriates, do not need to go ‎through the same process conducted by ‎international agencies which are ‎accredited by us. Why there is no similar mechanism so that the expatriate job ‎applicants take examinations covering ‎their specialisations, skills and ‎experience. This is important to ensure ‎that the manpower which reaches Oman is up to ‎the mark to play the role they are ‎assigned to do. This is important for the ‎sustainable economic growth of Oman. After taking up the job, ‎they should not become a burden to the ‎country and do not drain the ‎financial resources of the country. ‎

Ignoring the necessity of examination for expatriate job-seekers and just ‎imposing the same on the local ‎manpower is neither fair, nor serves the ‎purpose of the economic development. The ‎current practice tilts the balance in ‎favour of expatriates. This practice should end without any delay. This is ‎particularly where certain level of ‎specialisation is required and where ‎there are local cadre available for the ‎job.‎

It is the requirement of justice and ‎rationale to make the job-seekers to take ‎tests to prove that they have the required ‎capabilities, skills and experience. This ‎process should be based on principles of ‎equality which needs faith, ‎ethics, employment and professionalism.

What ‎is happening today is that if you ask that ‎if a citizen is to be recruited in either ‎public or private sector without any tests ‎or interview process, the answer will be ‎‎‘no, not at all.’ But expatriates are ‎being hired without going through this ‎process. If this is the case, where is ‎justice, equality and impartiality. ‎

Everyday we are told that there are very ‎limited job opportunities available for ‎which tens of thousands of youth in the country are competing. There are ‎certain standards under which these jobs ‎are classified. Then there is the process ‎for employment. But in the case of hiring ‎an expatriate there are no standards. ‎

The situation was different in the past. ‎In certain job categories, availability of ‎local manpower was limited or non-existent ‎at all. But the country has crossed that ‎phase. It has come a long way. ‎Currently, parity is required in jobs ‎offered for citizens and expatriates. The ‎country now has its own trained cadre to ‎fill the positions for which earlier only ‎expatriates were available. ‎

In medical and health sector, both local ‎and expatriate job-seekers take ‎examinations before they can practice ‎their profession. This is because any ‎mistakes or errors could cause loss of life. ‎Therefore, it is considered crucial to ‎make them go through the process of tests to check their capabilities, skills and ‎experience. Only after that process, they ‎get the license to practice their ‎profession. But same process is not there for ‎other professions. This is despite the fact ‎that any weakness in skills and ‎capabilities of other professions could ‎harm the economy or in some cases obstruct development. ‎

If there are skill and ‎experience tests for other professions, it will ‎make them stronger and finer as well as more ‎productive for the national economy. These ‎tests will help in the enhancement of the ‎level of services given to the people ‎living in the country. All professions or ‎vocations require certain skills and ‎capabilities. If there are more and ‎better skills, it will be better for the future ‎of the country. ‎

Of course, contract workers, farmers and ‎some other professions can be excluded ‎from the professional examinations.

But it ‎should be made must for all other professions. ‎There should be approved ‎standard examinations for hiring cadre, ‎and it does not matter it comes from within ‎the country or abroad. ‎

We hope that there will be similar ‎professional examinations for both local ‎and expatriate job-seekers. This is a necessity to ensure equality in the process and ‎quality in the work force.

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