By Abdulaziz Al Jahdhami — People, during their lifetime, face different types of challenges, some of which are not only puzzling, but also fear-inducing. Such problems are like nightmares. Finding a job tops the list of such challenges. For thousands of youth, especially fresh graduates, finding a job has become a nightmarish experience. For many, getting a job is becoming an “impossible dream” to achieve.
Unfortunately, the common excuse most employers cite today is the decline in oil prices. That is the reason they attribute for the shrinking job opportunities for graduates and job-seekers. I wonder for how long they will keep citing such excuses to deprive Omanis from getting employed.
Job-seekers are leaving no stone unturned to find a “job that can rescue them”. I understand how they must be feeling.
Getting a job is very important and it tops the list of priorities in life. Having a job is not just about making a living. It is necessary for one’s own dignity. It gives people a sense of self-respect and self-worth rather than depending on others.
For men, in particular, having a regular source of income is highly important. Otherwise, it will lead to frustrations.
Despite the increase in the number of graduates every year, job openings are on the decline. There is no balance between the number of graduates passing out from both government and private higher education institutions, and the jobs available in the market.
The competition is tough for job-seekers because of a paucity of jobs. Another factor that makes it harder for Omanis is a rise in the employment of expats.
There is no harm in hiring expatriates, from whom we learn to become proficient. However, competition should be fair to everyone. Omanis should be given preference for contributing towards building the future of their country.
Unfortunately, preference is given to expats whenever job opportunities arise. Perhaps, it could be attributed to their expertise and low salary compared with the locals.
However, that is not the case all the time. Candidates with expertise can be found even among the locals. In many cases, Omanis are not given a chance to prove themselves. Unfortunately, Omanis are mostly “undervalued”.
According to statistics released by local newspapers citing a report shared by the Ministry of Higher Education, the number of graduates from higher educational institutions every year is 22,000 students.
The figures are frightening as the number of graduates seeking jobs is increasing every day. Some graduates are taking up jobs not related to their specialisations. They are opting for such jobs just to get themselves employed and make a living.
To some extent, it’s a wise decision. To them, it’s an opportunity they should not miss as it might not come knocking again.
The government and private sector employers should come together and help the Omani youth by providing them with job opportunities. Besides, new openings should be created to give the youth an opportunity to help build the nation.