Muscat: Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) has started working on an employer’s survey, which will help the graduates in Oman to become more employable, and help private sector companies in finding the right candidates, according to a top official at the ministry.
After conducting the graduate survey last year, which indicated that 66.6 per cent of the graduates are employed by government organisations, 33 per cent started work with the private sector and 0.4 per cent of them started their own businesses, the ministry has now shifted its focus to the private sector companies to find out the needs of the labour market.
The graduate survey was open to students of all nationalities studying in both government and private institutions in the Sultanate. Besides this, it also targeted Omani graduates from universities abroad.
Due to the low percentage of graduates joining the private sector, it was important for the ministry to focus on the sector to find out the factors for low employability levels of graduates, said Fatma Al Hajri, director general of MoHE’s Graduate Survey Department.
“We are targeting 4,000 big private firms, which have the ability to hire our graduates, the criteria was to go for firms that are classified by the Ministry of Manpower from the first to the consultancy level.”
Initial indicators from last year’s graduate survey also addressed a number of other issues, such as evaluating the quality of higher education institutions, mode of study and services, transition between universities and the workplace.
“Our ultimate goal is to try and create a smooth link between the graduates and the labour market. We try to understand the needs to the labour market, qualifications and specialisations that they need from the graduates, we also figure out if there are any courses that we are not offering, the skills that our graduates are lacking and related things,” Al Hajri stated.
The employee survey, which is targeted at human resources managers and chief executive officers, will also address the factors that private sector companies take into account while looking for suitable employees. “Is it the grade point averages (GPAs), or other accomplishments, or training and activities that the companies are looking for?”
Currently, the survey is in the initial stage and is expected to get over by the end of April, after which it will be analysed and results will be announced.
“We will use the survey results to enhance planning in higher education, and the results will be shared with entities that plan the higher education process, institutions, graduates, supreme council of planning. Sometimes we go to schools and try to raise awareness about the most employed majors,” she said.
Once the survey is over, recommendations and indications will be given to the ministry about what is happening the labour market.