Spike in Omanis taking private sector jobs

Oman Sunday 25/August/2019 21:27 PM
By: Times News Service

Muscat: More than 9 thousand additional Omanis were hired in the country’s flourishing private sector in 2018, according to the Public Authority for Social Insurance (PASI).

According to PASI’s annual report for 2018, there were 76,474 Omanis in the private sector who had been registered for social insurance, while 67,131 nationals left private jobs.

There were also 16,617 private sector companies functioning in Oman at the end of 2018, pointing to an 11 percent increase in the number of new organisations that have been set up. There were several reasons for Omanis leaving the private sector, which included their resignation, the termination of their service, death and disability, moving to other jobs, and reaching the end of their service period, according to PASI.

In total, 246,969 Omanis are registered for social insurance. Of them, 182,414 are males and 64,555 are females. The report also showed that, up to the end of 2018, a total of 509,398 Omanis have been registered in PASI since the Social Insurance Law came into effect in 1992.

An official at the Ministry of Manpower said: “The number of Omanis who are listed in the records of the Public Authority for Social Insurance have increased due to the continuous efforts by the government to hire more Omanis in the private sector. Expat hiring freezes for some professions have also made room for Omanis in such jobs.”

He added: “Many Omanis left their jobs in the private sector as they move from one job to another for better income and incentives whether in the public or private sectors.”

Mohammed Al Busaidi, the representative for Boushar and Head of the Youth Committee at the Shura Council, thought that the numbers were a good omen for hiring in the private sector.

Al Busaidi told Times of Oman: “If these 76,474 are registered for the first time and 67,131 people have left the private sector, then that leaves us with an effective increase of around 9000 or so in terms of the number of people working in the private sector. I think that this is a good start, especially since the economy is not necessarily expanding quickly at the moment. We should keep in mind that the number of new graduates is higher than this increase, so there is still work to be done but this is a positive step forward,” he added.

When asked whether companies needed to continue to hire people, he said, “There are things that the government is doing that can move things forward such as Omanisation. The government could help this along by partially subsidising some positions for new graduates so that companies can hire them more easily. One thing companies are worried about is hiring employees who have degrees but little experience. This is something the government does more often, and companies worry that the employees won’t do as well if they don’t have the experience.

“Furthermore, young entrepreneurs can help ease that load and we should support them,” said Al Busaidi. “But starting a new company can be difficult and requires many factors such as innovation and the will and patience and an idea, so I don’t think we should push young people too much towards starting new companies unless they truly want to.”

Shashwar Al Balushi, the head of the Tanfeedh labour labs had previously explained to Times of Oman that the private sector was interested in hiring skilled people. Al Balushi said: “The private sector is hiring people who are specialised in their fields. This is very much linked to the expertise they have in the work that the company does. Say that someone has a diploma or bachelors in one field and then works in another. The company, if it is an engineering or construction firm, might not hire someone who studied philosophy and then worked as an administrator. They want to hire someone who has worked for a long time in his field and has shown his experienced in the projects that he took part in.”