Omanisation target on track

Energy Saturday 24/February/2018 21:48 PM
By: Times News Service
Omanisation target on track

Muscat: With five months to go until the expat visa ban is reviewed, Oman has already achieved close to 50 per cent of the Omanisation target announced in October.
More than 11,000 citizens have been hired in the private sector up to February 19 - the government wants 25,000 Omanis in jobs based on a decision of the Council of Ministers.
“The ministry seeks to find radical solutions to address the increasing numbers of job seekers in terms of setting regulations and legislation to limit the recruitment of expatriates and focus on the national workforce,” Salim Al Hadrami, Director General of Planning and Development at the Ministry of Manpower, said.
“In the next stage, if any establishment wishes to recruit expatriate labour force, they have to check the lists of Omani job seekers in the same speciality, and if a job seeker is available, he or she should have priority,” he added.
A six-month ban on expatriate workers in 87 sectors was imposed by the ministry on January 25, 2018.
The decision came into effect following a ministerial decree issued by Abdullah bin Nasser Al Bakri, Minister of Manpower on January 24, 2018.
“As for the ministerial decision to stop some professions from practising by the expatriate labour force, the decision was aimed at regulating the labour market and create job opportunities for graduates from universities and colleges as we found that job seekers are concentrated in certain specialities such as information systems, finance, accounting, engineering and management,” Salim Al Hadrami said.
He added: “The decision was based on the number of expatriates concentrated in these professions, and it is certain that this decision contributes to reduction of percentage of job seekers. The decision excluded only one case, the owners of small and medium enterprises.”
More than 36 per cent per cent of the total number of Omani job seekers during 2016 had a university degree according to NCSI, The programme to provide 25,000 jobs has so far placed 2,060 appointees who have university degrees while 9,630 have a general diploma or less.
Abood, a 27-year-old from Sur, told the Times of Oman he has been looking for a full-time job since graduating with a diploma in Telecommunications Engineering two years ago.“I’ve been to more than 13 companies. They always ask for my specialisation but after that I don’t hear from them.”
“They have not called me back during these two years,” said Abood
Rabia Alsadi, Programmer Devices Engineer, said: “One of the mistakes in the private sector is the lack of confidence in the Omani graduate’s qualifications, productivity and their work quality, so they grant the job opportunities to expats.”
A large slice of jobs market in Oman is taken by expatriates, according to statistics released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) in 2016.
1,825,603 jobs are occupied by expatriates, while Omanis only occupy 429,800 jobs in both government and private sectors.
“My friend has a degree from SQU in English, and after waiting for many years, he decided to work as a tour guide with a salary of OMR400, to look after his family and his daughter.”
Siham Al Hashemi gained an IT degree five years ago. he said: “Since I graduated, I have not got a job yet. Soon I will complete six years without work, and I take advantage of my time by doing handicrafts materials and selling it to our relatives.”
Shehab Al Mamari, another job-seeker who graduated in 2015, said: “ As my bachelor degree was in social science we do not have fair opportunities in private sector and government sector was full of employees.”
He added: “There should be a comprehensive evaluation of education policies at all levels, considering the academic programmes and their suitability to the labour market needs.
“They must establish a training and qualification institute for job seekers under the international standards and speed up replacement of expats and increase the Omanisation rate.”
“The follow-up of Omanisation in private sector establishments is carried out through specialised departments in the ministry, especially the employment departments and the labour inspection departments.”
As for finding job opportunities, there are several channels for obtaining these opportunities, in addition to follow-up by the specialised departments via the website,” Salim Al Hadrami, Director General of Planning and Development at MoM, said.