Expat recruitment ban extended

Muscat: The ministry of manpower has again extended the ban on recruitment of expatriate workers to certain professions in the private sector.

A statement from the Ministry of Manpower on Sunday said that the decision taken by Shaikh Abdullah bin Nasser al Bakri, Minister of Manpower, applies to a number of professions in sales, marketing and procurement and some jobs in the construction sector.

“The period of ban on brining foreign workers to professions specified in Ministerial Resolution No. 2018/487 has been extended to another six months from May 31, 2019,” the statement said. The decision to extend the ban comes towards the end of the six-month period ban and applies to all private sector establishments in the Sultanate.

According to an official at the ministry, the decision is part of the government efforts to regulate the labour market and reduce the number of expatriate workers. “The extension of the ban will help the government provide more opportunities to Omani job seekers”, he said. However, the ban will not apply to the existing visa holders.

According to data from the National Centre for statistics and Information, the expatriate population in Oman witnessed a steady fall in the recent months. The latest figures indicated that the number of expats has dropped by 3.8 per cent to reach 1,766,621 at the end of April this year from 1,787,447 during corresponding month last year.

The data also shows that there is an across-the-board fall in the number of educated expat workers. While higher diploma holders have been reduced to just 4,202 in number, which is 8.3 per cent fall, those with university and masters’ degrees shrank by 5.7 per cent and 6.6 per cent, respectively.

Last month, the government banned foreigners from being recruited to a number of managerial, administrative and clerical occupations. The positions include assistant general managers, administration mangers, director or manager of Human Resources, manager for employee affairs, training managers, follow-up managers, public relations managers and assistant director or managers.