Dubai: More than 200,000 expat workers left Oman in the past 12 months as a result of the repercussions of COVID-19 and government initiatives to employ more Omanis in both public and private sectors.
According to the latest numbers revealed by the National Centre for Statistics and Information, 218,000 workers left the country in one year. With the government announcing 32,000 jobs for citizens, the expat population could further decline in the coming months.
“Last year, with the pandemic, we have seen a lot of expat workers including their families leaving the country for good. Now, with the government intensifying its efforts to create job opportunities for Omanis, the number of expats will drop further,” said a top official at Ministry of Labour.
Expats employed in the government sector fell from 53,332 to 49,898, while in the private sector, expat worker figures dropped from 1,608,781, to 1,403,287.
Last week, the Ministry of Labour said it will replace the expat workforce in public sector in a phased manner. “The priority for the government is to give jobs to Omanis and there is a clear road map being prepared for this,” the official added.
The Omani government has also announced it is going to create 1,000 job opportunities for Omanis targeting 12,000 jobs specified in the employment plan for this year 2021.
According to sources, 1,000 jobs will be offered every month in the civil and military sector until the end of this year.
Last Tuesday, Sultan Haitham bin Tarik issued directives to offer 32,000 jobs by the end of this year in various sectors.