HUMAN CAPITAL

Oman 2018 | ECONOMY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Abdullah Nasser Abdullah Al Bakri, Minister of Manpower (MoM), on its ongoing efforts to boost Omanization across sectors, streamlining the employment process in the private sector, and developing human resources in the country.

 Abdullah Nasser Abdullah Al Bakri

Considering that expatriates make up 45% of the Omani population, how does MoM ensure their employment while maintaining the expected levels of Omanization?

MoM continues with the development of the mechanism of Omanization and replacement programs in light of the development of the labor market in the Sultanate through the work of Omanization sector committees, which endeavor to provide employment opportunities in private establishments to employ Omanis. A total of 12 sector committees led by officials from the private sector in the construction, oil and gas, selling and distribution, industry and mining, automobile, electricity, financial brokerage and banking, transport and telecommunications, education, health, and agriculture and fisheries sectors work in this respect. The task of these committees is to draft general policies in light of the development of the labor market, training, and employment to achieve Omanization targets and meet the private sector's requirements for manpower with its various levels, skills, and specializations. They also submit proposals for the re-structuring of the sector committees to be chaired by specialists from the private sector and with the membership of the three production parties: the government, employers, and employees.

What is the current state of the Labor Law, and how will it help bolster the Omani economy?

The Labor Law has reached an advanced stage, and the amendment of this law takes into consideration the current labor market and expected future changes. Work on the amendment of law is underway through a partnership and dialog between the various production parties. MoM extends remarkable efforts to develop the services offered by its labor, technological, and vocational education sectors with the aim of developing our human resources. They are the cornerstone of economic development in the country due to their vital role in supporting the national economy and continued growth to realize the future visions of the Omani economy. Our people are key components of Oman's aspirations to build a modern economy based on knowledge and increase production by investing in its people and utilizing their potential and capabilities to contribute to sustainable development.

What new processes are being introduced to offer the private sector easier, faster, and more transparent means of hiring personnel?

MoM coordinates with the private sector and endeavors to meet its actual requirements for manpower. The ministry's electronic services package was meant to ensure the shift to e-government and facilitate the provision of services offered to private sector establishments, national workforce, and all beneficiaries of the ministry's services. The new services include: electronic licensing and nomination, salaries' protection system, “We work" application, and the employment contracts signing service. Such electronic services have reduced paperwork and enabled beneficiaries of the ministry's services to finalize about 85% of services. The electronic services have varied and are being developed according to the latest internationally applied technologies, resulting in the development and streamlining of employment in the private sector.

What steps are being taken between the MoM and the private sector to ensure that Omani workers are sufficiently skilled?

The ministry has worked with the private sector in drafting policies and projects aimed at developing human resources, striking a balance in the labor market and ensuring its stability, and linking education and vocational training with the labor market to further contribute to economic development. The curricula and specializations of the technological vocational training have been drafted in coordination with the private sector. The ministry has spared no effort to introduce several initiatives with the private sector to provide thousands of employment opportunities for job seekers and ensure the stability of local workers in their jobs. Thus, it has worked toward linking the outcome of technological education with the labor market.