No one can dispute the fact that youth in any country are a force to reckon with as they are the ones who can build, develop and uplift society and cause it to deteriorate if not properly nurtured. Youth are the community’s backbone and an indispensable resource with limitless potential.
A lot has been said about Omani youth and the issues they want to focus on to serve their community. A modern study, titled ‘Omani Public Knowledge Needs from Awareness Programmes 2017’, conducted by Sultan Qaboos University and the Ministry of Information, indicates that the leading cause of concern to the Omani public is employment opportunities with 28.4 per cent of research focus.
The study addressed five different youth issues of interest to the Omani population. The second was the issue of drugs and addiction at 24.4 per cent, which reflects the serious impact of drug abuse and the need to address it in awareness and educational programmes.
Other issues of concern were youth inventions and innovations, change in customs and traditions and involvement in politics.
According to the findings of the study, what sticks out the most is that political involvement came in at the bottom of the list with a mere 9.6 per cent. Experts believe that this low level of attention to political issues reflects the usual sensitivities in this regard or lack of media interest in the same.
Generally speaking, youth have a massive impact on politics, and play a vital role in representing the majority of political power. With the presence of higher education institutions in the country and specialties in politics, economy and so forth, awareness on these issues and political involvement will receive more public interest in the coming years such as learning one’s rights and duties.
What the Omani youth are most concerned about today is finding jobs in their homeland. In this regard, a study titled ‘Youth and Employment’, conducted by the National Centre for Statistics and Information, shows that over three quarter of job-seekers are young Omanis between the ages of 18 and 29, or 76.5 per cent of total job-seekers from different age groups.
The private sector is the major job provider in the Sultanate. However, all these groups seek job stability and security in their future employment, with regular paycheck and no threat of suspension or any other punishment of sudden and unjustified nature.
Youth around the world are a pillar of change and a force capable of creating it, which is why it is imperative to attract this group and utilise and employ their talent and energy in available jobs.
This must be top priority for Omani companies, institutions and other organisations. Through youth, society can innovate in various disciplines and come up with creative and entrepreneurial ideas, leading to the development of organisations and increase in their daily productivity and revenue.
This, in turn, ensures sustainability and permanent success for those working in such organisations, which will reflect on community members.
Youth have always sought to bring about true change by expressing their opinions through different channels. All official institutions in the country have to do is pave the way for them by providing them with employment and facilitate their private
businesses and projects by removing all obstacles and entrepreneurial challenges that face them in launching their own businesses.
The institutions can also reduce fees and taxes, which is the only guarantee for decreasing the number of job-seekers as every success they achieve will create an even bigger one that will benefit the future generations.