Muscat: Around 55,800 Omanis have been provided jobs in the public and private sectors since February, when unprecedented protests erupted in key cities in support of employment and other demands.

According to the Minister of Manpower, Shaikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Bakri, roughly 60 per cent of this number have been recruited by private companies, while the rest have joined public sector organisations.

A further 19,000 registered job-seekers are currently being processed and will be allocated positions within various ministries and government departments, Al Bakri said in a statement to Oman News Agency.

Thousands of new recruits who had been pledged jobs as part of a mass recruitment drive ordered by Oman’s ruler, Sultan Qaboos, in the wake of the protests, have been reporting for duty at various ministries and government agencies over the past three months. They are the beneficiaries of 50,000 new posts created by various government, military and security establishments on the directives of Qaboos.

The Ministry of Civil Service, which is overseeing recruitment in the government sector, has been channeling hundreds of new recruits to ministries and state institutions based on their academic qualifications and experience.

Fresh applicants and relatively inexperienced candidates are being processed and put through provisional training before being absorbed by the ministries. Leading the effort to provide jobs for Omanis is the Royal Oman Police, which has pledged around 10,000 openings.

The Ministry of Health, also a major employer of Omani nationals, said it was gearing to receive 338 new recruits who commence work this Saturday, August 20th. Sultan Qaboos University, the nation’s premier higher learning institution, signed up 183 Omani men and women as part of the government-mandated employment drive.

Hundreds of others have also been absorbed by the Oil & Gas and Legal Affairs ministries, as well as the Directorate of Public Prosecution. Oman has earmarked one billion Omani riyals in additional funding during 2011 to help meet the government’s swelling wage bill, as well as the enhanced pension, social security and unemployment payouts decreed by Qaboos.