Stabilising the market

Salim bin Nasser Al Hadhrami – Director General, Planning & Development, Ministry of Manpower says the government’s efforts to create jobs for Omanis is yielding the desired results. Excerpts from an interview

Cover Story-3What measures are being taken by the Ministry of Manpower to create more jobs for Omanis?

In its bid to employ national manpower, the Ministry has joined hands with all private sector orgnaisations to provide Omanis with the required training so that they can meet the needs of the market. We are also ensuring that Omanisation plans are in place and that they are complied with by companies. We also follow up on the initiatives and endeavours being made by the private sector to create fresh job opportunities and maintain the statutory Omanisation rates.

Have more Omanis found jobs in the last two years because of the efforts of the Ministry of Manpower?

The number of Omanis working for the private sector is growing, which reflects the success of the efforts being made by the ministry in empowering job seekers and enabling them to take over jobs at the market. As of November 2017, the number of Omanis working in private sector organisations stood at 232,927. This figure increased in December 2017 to 233,073 and in January 2018 to 234,987 – an increase of 2,060 Omanis in three months. This reflects the success of the ministry in providing 25,000 job opportunities for Omanis.

The ministry has recently imposed a ban on visas for 87 professions, what has prompted this and will it help Omanis?

The Ministry of Manpower conducts field surveys and gets feedback from various stakeholders before taking any decision. The decision to ban visas for 87 professions for six months comes as a part of a bid to provide more job opportunities for Omanis during this period. The decision also aims at regularising the labour market especially as expatriates are taking over the bulk of the jobs in the market. We felt that we had to intervene to regularise the market and ensure its stability. We are going to assess the outcome after the expiry of this period.

Is the private sector doing enough to create jobs for Omanis?

Private sector organisations maintain cooperation with the ministry either directly or through the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) to create more job opportunities for Omanis. It should be noted that the response of some private sector organisations has been positive and many of them have created fresh job opportunities for Omanis. Half of the prospective number has been employed during the last three months. This is an indication that we are going in the right direction.

What can the private sector in Oman do to create more jobs for Omanis?

The number of expatriate employees in the private sector in the Sultanate is 1,294,839 of which 600,000 jobs can be Omanised. Coordination is maintained with the private sector companies to create more job opportunities for Omanis. Moreover, some sectors are witnessing momentum and growth which will in turn result in fresh job opportunities for Omanis.

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