Focus on jobs as Majlis hosts manpower minister

By Vinod Nair — MUSCAT: Jan. 10 – Majlis Ash’shura will host Shaikh Abdullah bin Nasser al Bakri, Minister of Manpower, for two days starting from January 15 to discuss the ministry’s role in the challenging economic environment. Youngsters want Majlis members to find out about the ministry’s preparedness in the given scenario where the government sector may not able to generate more jobs. Mohammed Salim al Busaidy, Majlis Ash’shura member from Bausher, said recently the Minister of Higher Education was hosted by the Majlis to understand the progress made and the plans laid out for the future. He said, “The Ministry of Manpower has an important role to play in the context of the public sector’s limitations to generate job opportunities for graduates entering the market in larger numbers every year.”

Al Busaidy said the main concern of youngsters is getting suitable jobs, career growth, vocational training and work environment. “They would like to know about the new Labour Law, its present status and when it will come into effect.” He said the concern of Sanad centres will be also raised as they were created to generate self-employment opportunities. “They are losing business as government transactions are moving online. We cannot stop e-governance, but there should be alternatives for them to survive in the changing environment.” Al Busaidy said, “The No-Objection Certificate (NOC) rule for expatriates wanting to switch jobs is unlikely to be raised as according to sources in the Ministry of Manpower, the matter is believed to be the prerogative of the Royal Oman Police (ROP).”

He said the ministry has to reveal its plans to find enough space for these fresh job-seekers and how they will be trained to meet the labour market requirements. The session will firstly focus on generating jobs for Omanis and the Omanisation strategy and secondly on providing a favourable climate for new investment, with regards to human resources development, in the private sector for them to generate new job opportunities. Oman’s Budget 2017 had clearly stated that the recruitment in public sector during 2017 will be very limited due to the challenges facing the budget resulting from the sharp fall in oil prices, and higher spending on salaries and wages.

“Private sector is expected to generate job opportunities for Omani youth through the establishment of investment projects that have economic returns.” According to latest statistics, the number of Omani job-seekers stood at 42,000, of whom 75 per cent are under 29 years and 67 per cent of them are females.