Given the evolving demands of the labour market, the recent exhortation of Dr Ahmed al Futaisi, Minister of Transport, who urged young Omanis to seize available job opportunities – particularly part-time openings — in delivery services, is a pertinent one. This kind of job opens a new window of opportunity for those who wish to spend their free time in productive and rewarding work.
The aspiration that we look to in the future is to see young Omanis in prestigious jobs and high-end institutions that suit their scientific capabilities and academic qualifications in order to serve their country. However, economic and social conditions compel job seekers anywhere in the world to consider temporary jobs as well.
For their side, the Omani youth is also interested in participating in any new experience in digital transformation and working with apps that can generate legitimate revenue for them, even in the delivery services sector.
Today we have many apps that the Omani youth have created to serve customer demands, facilitate their business, and make good use of their time. These start-ups they have created are working today to meet the demands of customers and clients in the delivery of their various products, but unfortunately most of the people who perform these services are expatriates who are working until midnight to meet customer requests. This is what prompted the Minister of Transport to urge young Omanis to consider part-time opportunities in delivery services, at least until time they get full-time jobs.
With the continuation of the pandemic, customer orders are escalating daily. According to one study, deliveries of food parcels from restaurants totaled around 14,000 – 15,000 orders in Muscat Governorate alone. Given that the average meal price is RO 7, the value of home delivery orders is in the RO 100 – 120 million range annually.
We believe that the presence of Omanis in delivery services will increase their monthly income, but the matter needs to find foundations and legislation in this profession to protect them from interference or other abuses, while this profession also needs to deal in confidence sometimes with people’s information and places of their orientation.
The decision to “Omanise” online delivery jobs comes due to the large increase in e-commerce platforms in the country during the last period. According to the data of the Ministry of Transport, about 15,000 requests are submitted through some e-commerce platforms daily, and most of the income from these connections goes into the pockets of expatriate workers some of whom engage in ‘hidden trade’ practices, while some of them work illegally as well.
With this pandemic continuing, the e-commerce industry is making positive strides, but most domestic platforms use expatriates for delivery services. This opens up the opportunity to replace them with Omanis, particularly students and part-time jobseekers. This is an opportunity for youngsters and others to be productively engaged until to secure full-time employment.