Muscat: More than half of the Omani youth working in the private sector would transfer to the government sector, even if the salary was lower, according to a job market survey carried out by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).
Men and the lower educated class are more inclined towards finding a state job, the NCSI said in the full report, which was published in Arabic on Thursday.
The NCSI also found that 76 per cent of Omani youth seeking a job preferred a job in the government sector, even if the salary in a private sector job was 50 per cent higher, compared with the government job.
Tonia Gray, general manager at Competence HR, said during the current economic climate, job security is a real concern for many Omani youth, who see the private sector as less stable in this regard.
“Omani youth may also consider accepting a lesser salary in the government sector due to the job security offered. In addition, the government sector often undertakes its business in the Arabic language, which may be an advantage for some,” she said.
The lower number of working hours and less arduous work are other important factors pulling young Omanis to the government sector, according to Gray. Male students (69.2 per cent) are more willing to enrol in the private sector than females (37.8 per cent). 52.2 per cent of youth workers in the government sector would switch to the private sector if a higher salary was offered.
The desired minimum increase in salary rose from 43 per cent in 2013 to 52 per cent in 2015, indicating higher expectations regarding salary, said the NCSI.
The findings also showed that these expectations are higher among students enrolled in higher education than they are among job seekers (OMR880, compared with OMR454 in the private sector, respectively).
In general, job seekers expect a higher salary in the public sector (499.7, compared with 454.3). Gray of Competence HR said she recognises this increase in salary expectations.
“We have noticed steadily increasing demand from graduates in our recent graduate recruitment programmes on behalf of private sector clients,” she said.
Most of the youth working in the private sector earn between OMR320 and 900, while in the private sector they earn between OMR320 and 700, according to the NCSI.
The top reasons for not being content with a job include [perceived] low salaries, strenuous working conditions and the nature of the work not deemed fit, the report concluded.
“While young Omanis have obtained an excellent education, quite often the qualifications they have do not match the requirements of the private sector. Fresh graduate Omanis we have hired often left within two years,” Gray noted.
Omani youth have a high expectation of the role of the government, as well, the NCSI said. 89 per cent of work seekers think the government should be responsible for providing a job for every young Omani, the NCSI found.
However, more Omani youth wanted to start their own businesses. 46 per cent of job seekers and 71.6 per cent of those employed said they would want to, compared with 33 and 53 per cent, respectively, in 2013.
As for competition from the expat workforce, more than 75 per cent of job seekers and 61 per cent of those employed think expats negatively affect their own chances of being employed, the report found.