Muscat: Omani job-seekers should receive military training before landing a job, a Majlis Al Shura member has suggested.
Shura member Abdullah Al Rasbi has suggested six-month military training to prepare graduate job-seekers for employment.
And Oman’s Minister of Manpower agreed with him. “Some people claim that an Omani is not responsible. There is a deception in the public opinion. We don’t accept to call a citizen incapable. The solution is - and I suggest it - is to enforce a military programme for six months. We have highly qualified military bodies which can train Omanis,” said Al Rasbi.
Al Rasbi was speaking on the second day of a Shura Council meeting with the Minister of Manpower, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Bakri.
The minister agreed, adding: “I am with you on the military service issue. We have good experience with the people who retired from military services and moved to private sector and proved to be disciplined and competent.”
He added: “It is required and we had suggested it to the authorities concerned.” Shura members have been discussing the need to force graduates to join military camps in order to make them “more disciplined” for more than two years.
“I do believe graduates need some form of military training for a few weeks before applying for a job. I volunteered to train with the Royal Guards as part of our school programme,” an Omani private sector employee said.
“Even though it was only three weeks of training, it is more than enough time to learn responsibility and discipline. Had I not gone there, I would’ve turned out to be a very different man than I am now, which would be bad,” he added.
Yahya Al Ajmi, a Customer Service Agent at Oman Air, added: “I think this is a great idea. I see people coming in and working for only two to three months and then leaving. They need to know discipline when it comes to time-keeping too.
“When a student is done with high school and even university, they usually take a whole year off before working. Spending six months out of that year will not only benefit his or her work ethic, but also teach them the basics of being human.”
Military service is mandatory for all Emiratis between the ages of 18 and 30, and has been since June 2014. Young men who graduate from high school are required to serve nine months, while those who fail need to serve two years. A nine-month training course for women is optional.
Companies are legally obliged to hold jobs open for military service citizens until they return. Conscripts are rewarded with a range of benefits even after they’ve left the military including priority for jobs in the government sector, housing plots, academic scholarships and marriage grants.
The decree was expanded in 2016 to allow those above 30 to undergo conscription for a 15-week period, and failure to complete your military service could result in a fine ranging from AED10,000 to AED50,000 and a jail term that could vary from a month to a year behind bars.