Times of Oman
Ministers join hands to recruit 25,000 Omanis
December 6, 2017 | 10:14 PM
by ONA
Oman ministers hailed in statements to a TV programme ‘Together We Work’ that will be aired by Oman TV tonight about employing 25,000 Omanis. -ONA
 
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Muscat: A number of ministers announced the launch of the executive steps to implement the Council of Ministers’ decision related to the employment of 25,000 Omani jobseekers at the various public and private institutions.

The decision comes within the framework of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said’s continuous care for the development of Omani youth, developing their capabilities and benefiting from their energies effectively to ensure their active participation at the comprehensive development process being witnessed by the Sultanate during this prosperous era.

Dr. Ali bin Mas’oud Al Sunaidi, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Bakri, Minister of Manpower, Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications and Ahmed bin Nasser Al Meherzi, Minister of Tourism hailed in statements to “Together We Work,” the first series of a TV programme that will be aired by Oman TV tonight, the response of the private sector organisations, which will provide permanent and continuous job opportunities for Omani job seekers.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Bakri said that His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said has accorded a special care to the development of the Omani, who is the cornerstone of the development process.



Stemming from this principle, the Council of Ministers attaches a great care to the employment of Omani job seekers and re-organising the labour market during the previous Five- Year Development Plan (2011 – 2015).To his end, many committees and work teams have been formed to ensure creating job opportunities for Omanis including the Ministerial Committee formed by the Council of Ministers in 2017 under the chair of the Minister of Interior and membership of ministers concerned with employment of jobseekers and organising labour at the private sector.

He affirmed that the employment of 25,000 jobseekers is only the first stage of a continuous process supervised by the ministers at the sectors that have great potential for generating job opportunities for Omani jobseekers.

He pointed out that the decision to employ Omanis has been welcomed by the public and private organisations, which showed serious response to the decision.

Technical committees comprising the relevant ministries and private sector organisations were formed to follow up implementation.

These committees started with providing data on the available job opportunities as data has been already prepared on active jobseekers as on 3rd October 2017.

As for the competition among jobseekers on the available job opportunities, Sheikh Al Bakri noted that meetings were held on the level of the ministers and heads of the companies, as well as some technical meetings to identify the available job opportunities.

Coordination has been also maintained through two employment services offices namely “Mojeed” and “Al Hadaf”. They were provided with the data on the jobseekers, their characteristics and the available job opportunities at the private sector.

Many measures were taken to survey the active jobseekers registered with the Public Authority for Manpower Register (PAMR) as on the 3rd of October 2017.

Priority will be given to seniority, the available specialisations, seriousness in looking for a job and being fully dedicated to work.

He added that a number of sectors have been identified as sectors that have high possibility to generate job opportunities for Omanis namely oil and gas, industry, logistic services, free zones, banking sector, and finance companies.

He pointed out that the employment of 25,000 Omanis is one of the measures taken to regularise the labour market.

One of the measures taken is that the vacant positions should be offered first to national manpower before allowing expatriate workforce to apply for such positions.

There is also a programme for replacing expatriates with national manpower wherever possible.

On his turn, Dr. Ali bin Mas’oud Al Sunaidi, Minister of Commerce and Industry said in response to a question of the TV programme presenter that the private sector is the main generator of job opportunities at any given country.

He added that by the mid of this year, we have noticed a growth in the number of male and female Omanis working for the private sector to about 230,000.

This figure is humble if taking into consideration that the private sector has generated more than 1.7 million jobs in the past few years, most of which were taken over by expatriates.

This is the main reason behind the low Omanisation level in many commercial, industrial and business sectors.

It is also very important to replace retired expatriates or expatriates who leave for good with national manpower.

He noted that while less than 15,000 Omanis got jobs at the private sector, about 100,000 expatriates were recruited by the private sector.

“We should bear in mind that you can recruit non Omanis when Omanis lack training or are not equipped to take over the available jobs and that recruitment of expatriates is just for a temporary period until they are replaced with Omanis.”

He added that necessary measures should be also taken to follow up the implementation of the Council of Ministers’ decision and ensure that private sector companies provide the conducive environment that helps national manpower to settle and develop in their jobs.

Dr. Al Sunaidi affirmed that figures point out that the Omani economy has been witnessing a continuous growth, which is expected to exceed 10% by the end of 2017.”We expect the Omani economy to continue its growth in 2018 as well,” he furthered.

He added that while the direct Omanisation rate in mining sector is good and high, still there are many promising opportunities in the sectors associated with it such as logistic services, industry and financial services.

He also stressed the importance of the National Training Fund, especially in sectors where emphasis has not been placed on the training component in the past period.

He added that the fund, which started its work and an agreement made with the industry sector to train about 4,000 young people in the areas needed by the industrial sectors.

He pointed out, “At Ebdaat Omaniya Exhibition in which 200 small and medium enterprises took part, we noticed the interaction of Omanis with them not only in purchasing, but also in the complementary role among them through the advice of many of CEOs who volunteered to serve and train the entrepreneurs of these institutions”.

Dr Al Sunaidi further said that the jobs do not necessarily exist in large companies, such as petrochemical projects that cost billions of dollars and work with advanced mechanization and may accommodate 400 jobs only, but the Omanis have to find jobs in the small and complementary sectors, and here comes the role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs.

He pointed out that many youths who got loans from Al Raffd Fund that hit OMR73 million and went to about 1,800 establishments have provided 3,500 job opportunities.

Dr. Al Sunaidi said, “We see that Omani youths are willing to join the private sector as there are as more as 230,000 Omanis working for the private sector and encouraging others to work at the same sector”.

He added that the private sector provides about 100,000 jobs every year, urging the Omani manpower to take their portion of such jobs, plus the presence of more than one million jobs that can absorb Omanis.

He furthered, “The factories that opened in the last three years have better living and housing facilities and we are expanding in the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (PEIE), especially the housing of employees, workers and housing in A’Rusayl Industrial Estate and Sohar.

It is like a small village with great possibilities of life, in addition to leisure opportunities”.He pointed out that the Omanisation rate in PEIE is about 37%, and there are factories where Omanisation reaches 65% and at multiple levels for Omanis.

He explained that foreign investment companies have 188,000 expatriate manpower and more than 55,000 national manpower whereas the Omani companies have more than one million expatriates against about 170,000 Omanis.

This shows a rate that is totally disproportionate, faulty and requires a collective cooperation particularly from the owners of these companies in the first place.

Dr. Al Sunaidi explained that the upcoming stage requires a range of government measures to achieve success of Omanisation process, such as not granting any facilities including loans and contracts for companies that do not employ Omanis.

He pointed out that the Omanisation stages in the private sector does not only mean recruiting 25,000, but rather it is a continuous process.

On combating illicit trade, Dr. Al Sunaidi affirmed that the ministry will start from next year to implement the system of final accounts of companies.

He said in this regard that the application of this system not only because the ministry wants it, but it is demanded for tax purposes.

Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications said, “In 2011, the number of workers in the transport and communication sector reached 20,000 and the number reached 80,000 workers in 2017. It is a reflection of the operation of ports and airports sectors and in the logistics sector as well. The number of Omani workers increased to 11,000 in 2017, i.e 13.7% of the total number of workers in the sector”.

He added that the percentage of Omanisation in the land transport sector is currently estimated at 14%, but many companies have not achieved this percentage and vary between 1% and 36%. He said that there is a great opportunity for Omanisation in this sector, as imposing the 14% for Omanisation means 7,000 jobs in this sector.

He pointed out that there are measures and initiatives that have been taken for Omanisation in the companies that work in the transport, logistics and other sectors being concerned by the ministry, including prioritizing contracts for companies employing more Omanis.

The Minister of Transport and Communications said that the most employed institutions for Omanis in the logistics sector are institutions of the fourth degree, which means that 60% of the workforce in the logistics sector may be professional jobs and all these figures reflect the availability of large jobs.

He pointed out that there is an integrated team at the Oman Logistics Centre responsible for the implementation of the logistics policy under the name of “Human Capital”. All members of this team are Omani graduates from universities with good competencies and their main role represented in the recruitment in the logistics sector On the qualification of Omani cadres to join the work at the airport, Dr. Al Futaisi said that the recruitment of the national workforce started from the last three years through recruitment, training for Omanis in this project.

He added: “However, there will be a quota of at least 300 jobs at the airport within the last decision of the Council of Ministers. We are targeting not only the companies that run the airport, such as Oman Air and airports, but we target companies that have contracts with these companies, such as transport and shipping”.

Ahmed bin Nasser Al Meherzi, Minister of Tourism, talked about the efforts of the sector to absorb a larger number of the national workforce.

He said that the tourism sector is one of the sectors that are developing at a good pace and that it is promising.

The sector also has a good working environment and there are guarantees regarding the system and law provided by the Government through Labour Law and Social Insurance Law.

He pointed out that the growth rate of the sector amounted to 6% in 2016% in comparison to 2015.

He added that the hotel establishments recruit more manpower as there is a growth in the number of hotel rooms up to 12% and the number of tourists up to 14%. He added, “As for the travel and tourism offices sector until the end of October 2017, the Ministry of Tourism issued 220 licenses, and there are 25,000 workers in the hotel sector and the travel and tourism sector, including 8,000 workers as Omanis.

He added “The tourism sector is based on the promotion of the Sultanate and highlighting its identity and culture. There is no better than Omanis in providing this. International tourism companies (for example, European) prefer to cooperate with Omani companies and Omani tour guides to meet the demands of tourists who come from these countries”.

He stressed the role of hotel establishments in giving small and medium enterprises (SMEs) a role in implementing the services they need.

He praised the outputs of the College of Tourism and Hospitality Institute in supporting the tourism sector and achieving Omanisation rates.

Al Meherzi added that although the active companies in the travel and tourism sectors are limited and the other are small, yet there is a response, especially from the companies that has long-term recruitment of the national workforce.

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