Omanis turned to private sector due to ‘very limited’ government hiring

Omanis are being encouraged to seek employment in the private sector as austerity hits government coffers



Omanis should seek opportunities in the private sector due to very limited hiring in the public sector in 2017, an official has warned.

Shaswar Al Balushi, the head of the labour market at national diversification programme Tanfeedh, told Times of Oman that thousands of positions occupied by expats should go to dedicated Omanis.

“There are around 1.5 million expatriate workers in the private sector. Simply, there are 1.5 million job opportunities available in Oman without any investment,” he said.

“Now, if we avoid half of the low level jobs from the 1.5 million, then we have 700,000 jobs available. Even if we take 10 per cent of this, there are 70,000 jobs.”

Tanfeedh is a major focus for the Omani government in 2017, with the Ministry of finance warning in the recent state budget that hiring in the public sector would be “very limited” this year as the country continues to introduce oil-linked austerity measures.

Read: Oman 2017 budget projects smaller deficit as govt plans tax hikes

The number of Omanis working in the private sector increased to 222,000 in 2016, an increase of 13,000 and a similar increase can be expected next year, according to the budget report.

However, Anvwar Al Balushi, chairman of the Anwar Asian Investment Group, stressed that tough economic conditions meant hiring of both expats and Omanis was being impacted.

“Firing is happening everywhere. Private sector is struggling a lot in carrying out the current projects. At this time, if government expects that we will hire, we don’t know how much we will be able to live up to their expectations,” he told the publication.

He stressed the need for trained candidates that would require limited training or the support of the government in training initatives.

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