Public-private collaboration need of the hour

MUSCAT: Oman’s Future of Skills Initiative in partnership with the World Economic Forum (WEF), organised the first of a series of public-private industry discussions on Monday. Leading industrialists from key Omani manufacturing sectors including electronics, transportation, food production, metal manufacturing, maritime, power and petroleum participated in the meeting.
The meeting, chaired by Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council for Planning, focused on the impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution on labour market dynamics and particularly on how Oman will adapt to the skills needed at present and in the near future. The industry discussion is a key input ahead of the World Economic Forum’s Middle East and North Africa Summit.
Al Sunaidy said, “The 2040 industrial strategy, currently under review, looks into the future of jobs in manufacturing. It is critical for the public and private sectors to collaborate to effectively harness Oman’s human capital’s competitiveness, capabilities and skills to deliver the industry and national strategy. CEOs should utilise resources such as the National Training Fund to further train their workforce for future jobs.”
“Within the context of Oman’s Future of Skills Initiative, the discussions enable companies and the relevant government entities to learn from each other by providing them with a platform and mechanism for dialogue with a focus on adapting, adopting and aligning more quickly to the skills needed in the labour market”, he added.
During the discussion, Omani industrialists shared their expertise and insights into the future of manufacturing along with potential areas of collaboration and reform. The participants discussed global manufacturing trends, how they are localising it adopting new business models built on big-data analytics, robotics, cyber security systems and cloud computing; requiring new skills and capabilities to thrive in a digitised workplace. As the initiative moves forward future discussions will include key economic diversifying sectors.
During the meeting, Adnan al Shuaili, CEO of eMushrif, said, “The manufacturing industry is going digital, eMushrif is one of the earliest adopters of new technologies in order to enhance industry’s productivity and competitiveness. As an SME we have seen a greater focus on innovation in both, new products and processes as our economy matures. However, without having access to the right talent our businesses growth will be impacted. It is therefore critical for us the private sector to have such a platform to effectively convey the market requirements for competitiveness, capabilities and skills within the industry as the economy and our business needs grows.”