MUSCAT, JULY 30 –
The scaffolding manufacturing industry in the Sultanate has all the potential to become a major job provider to Omani youths. It can create more jobs, avoid imports and open up export opportunities, said panelists at a debate cum workshop held at the Oman Institute for Oil and Gas, instOG, Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) on Monday.
“Scaffolding manufacturing has huge potential for growth thanks their never-ending demand in the construction sector. Today, RO 15 million worth scaffolding materials are imported to the country”, said Khalid al Jashmi, CEO, Triangle Engineering LLC, chief organiser of the event. Held under the auspices of Ahmed bin Hasan al Dheeb, Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Oil and Gas, and organised jointly by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Oman Oil Company, ORPIC, SGB and Triangle Engineering Company, the debate was said to be first of its kind aimed at supporting the scaffold manufacturing industry in Oman.
The manufacture of scaffolding materials and the provision of professional scaffolding services was one of the initiatives identified by Tanfeedh national programme for enhancing economic diversification.
In addition to investing in manufacturing scaffolding, Tanfeedh directives also provide for training locals so that they acquire qualifications through training institutes, thus feeding the local industrial expansion.
It is one of the opportunities identified in the in-country value (ICV) blueprint strategy unveiled in 2013 for oil and gas sector.
“Paying more attention to this industry can reduce Oman’s dependence on the import of scaffolding equipment while creating more jobs and attaining self-reliance in the sector”, Al Jashmi added.
In Oman, there are five scaffolding companies operating but only three are approved by the Ministry of Oil and Gas. In addition to manufacturing nearly 300 tonnes of scaffolding material a month, the industry employs local workforce at all levels.
Sami Salem al Sahib, Director-General of Industries at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI), said that the ministry took the first step in this regard immediately after the Royal Decree for working standards was announced.
“We work hand in hand with the authorities to make sure the scaffolding industry is supported and promoted”, he said. Iqla al Maskari, ICV Director at the ministry of oil & gas said that the ministry spares no efforts in ensuring effective ICV and that a committee was set up to ensure that support is extended to local suppliers, manufacturing companies and the like.
“More Omanis need to come forward to take up jobs in scaffolding as it will help support the self-reliance goal. For this purpose, we need to have more awareness about the indsutry,” said Al Jashmi.