Private sector training valued by job seekers in Oman

Oman Tuesday 08/March/2016 22:08 PM
By: Times News Service
Private sector training valued by job seekers in Oman

Muscat: Private sector in Oman is still attractive among students seeking to develop their career and take advantage of training opportunities offered.
This is contrary to what one would expect, looking at the findings of a job survey carried out recently by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI). It found that more than half of Omani youth working in the private sector would prefer to work in the government sector, even at a lower salary.
The Times of Oman (TOO) had interviewed a number of students and job seekers, who visited the Career and Training Opportunities Fair being held at the Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) until March 9. The fair gathered more than 43 participants from both the private and public sector, according to SQU.
The students said they valued training opportunities and career perspectives in the private sector.
Waleed Al Aamri, from Fanja, graduated as a mechanical engineer last December. “As a mechanical engineer, it is better to work for a private company, since there, I can enrich my experience. Some companies have training programmes I can benefit from,” he said.
His classmate, Adil Al Aamri, said he preferred to work in the private sector. “With my specialisation, the private sector would be better. I will have greater perspective there,” he said, adding that his study programme did not really fit the labour market.
“My study programme focuses on literature study and not on practical training. If every semester I could take some training, it would be better,” he said. He added that he will first undertake training, before enrolling into his first job. However, finding a job in the private sector is not easy.
“I have applied to a lot of companies, but unfortunately, I hardly get any replies,” Waleed said. “But I don’t want to apply with the public sector. I want the private sector,” he said. Waleed said he expects a salary of OMR1,000.
Like his friend, Adil said he has applied to a lot of companies, but hardly got any response.
“The companies that replied said I lacked the necessary experience. If they don’t give us a chance, where will we get the experience?” he asked.
Said Al Hadhrami, who graduated with a Bachelor in Administration and Marketing eight months ago, said he does not prefer a particular sector, as long as it suits his specialisation.
“I prefer anything, since there are a few jobs available. I am trying to get a job, which fits my field of study,” he stated.
He said he expects a salary of OMR800 or more. “I expect that this will be a salary that fits a Bachelors degree,” he said. He added that others preferred the government sector, since the working hours there are limited and salaries have increased recently.
“But in the private sector, you benefit more from training opportunities,” he said.
Still, the government sector has its advantages. Students said it is an easier way of gaining the necessary experience that may enable them to move to the private sector in the future.
Ahmed Ba-Alawi, a computer science student from Sur, said he had found a training opportunity at the fair. “God willing, during this semester I will train at Oman LNG in Sur. I just applied,” he said.
“I hope to work in the private sector, but I like the government sector as well. It is more comfortable and has limited working hours. The privileges in the public sector are better.”
However, Ahmed said he does “not think of salary, but of gaining experience. I can do that first in the public sector,” he said.
His classmate, Abdulmalik Al Shukaili, said he prefers the military sector. “But I might find an opportunity in the marine sector as well, since they are represented here,” he said. A female student in Economics told TOO that she prefers the government sector because of the job security offered. “Even when an economic crisis occurs, there will still be more job security,” she noted.