Seventh plan to give a boost to Omanisation


And if everything works out according to the projections, all Omanis entering the job market over the next four years will be suitably employed with demand for local manpower outstripping supply.

Results of the first full year of the plan – 2006 — has been more than encouraging — some 57,400 new jobs were generated, compared with the targeted annual average of 40,000 for the five years. Human resources development and Omanisation have been two major planks of the Sultanate’s development strategy right from the beginning, and in recent years, confronted with the ever increasing number of young nationals graduating from schools, colleges and universities, the jobs drive has gathered momentum.

Manpower Minister Juma bin Ali bin Juma, who presented the employment ‘progress report’ while addressing members of the Majlis Ash’shura on Saturday, said the government was determined to go ahead with plans to find work for all Omanis looking for a job and upgrade and modernise the country’s technical and vocational education system. He said new employment opportunities to be created during the Seventh Plan were estimated to reach 199,000, or about 40,000 annually. Omanis would take up 124,000 of these positions, i.e. 24,800 a year, he added. The ‘Sanad’ (support) self-employment project would provide another 15,000 jobs, or some 3,000, every year, the Minister said, adding: “Thus, the total number of jobs expected to be generated by the Seventh Five-Year Plan investment programmes, replacement and Omanisation and Sanad schemes is expected to be to the tune of 214,500.”

The number of new national jobseekers entering the market is forecast at 36,000 per year. Juma said the government estimated the average growth in new job opportunities at 6.5 per cent annually during the plan period, while supply of Omani manpower would be 5.2 per cent.

A total of 57,380 new openings were created last year, against the total number of recorded jobseekers of 74,794, including 44,992 who registered for the first time. Juma disclosed that an amount of RO29 million had been approved to enrol general education graduates and those with lower qualifications in employment-tied training programmes under the ‘national training projects’ during the Seventh Plan. Turning to training, Juma said 3,650 young Omanis were trained at government cost under a scheme that ensured them jobs in private companies at the end of their courses, compared with 4,726 in 2005.

He added a newly introduced ‘unified integrated system for vocational training and technical education’, would establish a direct link between the institutes and the private sector. He also dwelt on the ministry’s plans to Omanise 50 per cent of teaching staff at the country’s technical colleges by 2010.

A new technical college is due to be opened in Shinas in September this year, he added. The minister said the capacity of the four government training institutes had been upgraded to 4,375 students, compared with 1,933 in 2005-06, up 126 per cent.


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