More industrial sector jobs for Bahrainis soon


But Bahrainis willing to take on the vacancies are coming in trickles.
Anything from on-the-job incentives, allowances, and even free bus rides are being dangled like carrots by training councils but the recruitment would not keep up with the creation of vacancies every year.

Over 120 major companies had assured the government for slots to take in more Bahrainis within the coming years.

Demand will be high for carpenters, welders, plant and machine operators, mechanics and technicians as activity surges in the industrial and manufacturing field.
“There are jobs available and we expect more vacancies soon,” said Hassan Ali, executive director of the government-run Specific Council for Training in the Industries (SCTI).

“We are trying very hard to look for people. There are Bahrainis signing up in training programmes but we would be needing more,” he said.

The industrial sector can account for at least 10 per cent of some 5,000 to 6,000 vacancies available in the jobs market.

Tourism, hospitality, construction and the finance fields are believed to generate the most jobs particularly with the expected completion of a string of high-investment tourism and leisure projects around the country in the coming years.

The SCTI will complete apprenticeship training programmes for some 20 Bahrainis this year. Dozens more have been lined up to boost training skills by the second half of the year.

“The number is low and we are campaigning to get in more Bahrainis. We want Bahrainis who are dedicated to complete the training and take the jobs,” Ali said.
Graduates of these government training programmes receive salaries in the range of BD200 to BD250.

Such amounts may be lower than the BD350 minimum wage being pushed by the unions and a bloc of parliamentarians but the trainers believe that the job offer programme is “very reasonable.”

“They already get allowances once they start training. The offer is very reasonable,” Ali said.

If Bahrainis do not fill the slots, industry heads will once more bank on an available expatriate manpower to take on the jobs.

“We may want to take in more Bahrainis but if there is no local manpower available, certainly the companies have no recourse but to take in additional expatriate workforce,” said one factory manager.

Other government-run training councils like the Specific Council for Training in Hotels and Restaurants had allocated more funds to train and recruit Bahrainis. The hotels council this year announced a BD300,000-plus investment to train Bahrainis to fill vacancies in the hotel sector.

The Ministry of Labour said that it had provided placements for more than 14,000 Bahrainis over the past year through the National Employment and Training Programme. Unemployment is currently pegged at 4 per cent.


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