Plan to establish fund to aid youth

Muscat: In the light of an increase in the number of national workers being laid-off by some private sector institutions, officials from Majlis Ash’shura, represented by Youth and Human Resources Committee, and Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI), discussed the possibility of establishing “a fund against unemployment” that provides financial aid for those who lose their jobs for a specified period of time.

The meeting, held on Monday, looked into issues related to the committee’s study on “the phenomenon of layoffs of national workforce in private sector — challenges and solutions”.
Presided over by Younis bin Ali al Mandhari, Head of the Committee, the members noted the role of the chamber in following up on this issue and how to address it, the OCCI and the private sector’s view on the reasons for the increase in the number of laid-off workers, as well as legislations regulating the issue, the current labour law and the initiatives presented by the chamber to address the issue.

Specialists from OCCI gave a visual presentation on the challenges faced by private sector, and their impact on employment, including the impact of global economic situation.
They also shed light on a number of internal challenges like reducing domestic spending, increasing production and operating costs and delay in government payments.
Specialists also spoke of the main reasons for terminating some contracts like completion of projects or referral to another company, high taxes and fees, rising operating costs for the company, in addition to the refusal of some of the workers to change the nature of their work to suit new situation at the company.
To address this problem, the attendees looked into a number of suggestions like giving priority to projects for Omani companies, directing public and private institutions to finance training and qualification programmes for Omanis as a matter of social responsibility, tackling the problem of delaying government payments, in addition to reviewing the current Omanisation policy and developing it.
Also, they suggested some amendments to the labour law to achieve justice between the two parties (employee and employer), encourage and support SMEs as they provide job opportunities for university graduates.