Majlis A’Shura on Monday resumed its 12th session of the second annual sitting of the seventh term as it hosted H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Abdullah al Bakri, Minister of Manpower to discuss matters related to manpower, training, rehabilitation and technical education in the country.
Council members raised many questions pertaining to job opportunities for nationals, absconding expatriate workers and topics related to senior posts in private sector companies.
On the issue of absconding expatriate workers, H E Bakri said that this is a pressing problem across all governorates in the country. “Statistics show that at least 12,000 expatriate workers are absconding, mainly in the fishing areas in the governorate of Al Wusta. I request government departments, private sector enterprises and citizens to cooperate with MoM to resolve this problem.”
He said that the ministry is also intensifying inspection campaigns in different governorates to solve this issue.
The members raised questions regarding programmes in the colleges of technology that are run by the ministry and discussed proposals to expand specialised programmes in these institutes.
A number of members asked H E Bakri to create a common pension fund for Omanis in the public and private sector.
H E Bakri said that the government, represented by the ministry, is working to regulate the sultanate’s labour market through cooperation between government and private institutions. “The government seeks to improve income levels of Omanis, and relevant government departments are studying the proposals submitted by Majlis A’Shura.”
With regard to training programmes, H E Bakri said there are plans to introduce professional programmes with the objective of reducing pressure on the Higher College of Technology in Muscat, noting that the number of students enrolled in technical colleges reached 11,300 last year.
He also said that the number of senior posts in the private sector stood at 42,000 and many Omanis are in leadership positions. “The ministry is working to open offices and departments in wilayats where there are none.”
He said that the ministry has no intention to reduce recruitment fees for expat workers in agriculture or fishing as is the case with domestic workers or private drivers.