Sheikh Nasr bin Amer Al Hosani, Undersecretary for Labour Image Credit:

Muscat: Oman’s Ministry of Labour today held a press conference to unveil plans for this year in human resources development sector and the labour sector. The Labour Ministry officials indicated the announcement follows the work for opening up the labour market for employment and training opportunities for Omani nationals.

Sheikh Nasr bin Amer Al Hosani, Undersecretary for Labour, revealed the work plan and new procedures in the labour sector.

Among the key initiatives shared were the introduction of organisational measures to improve and develop the labour market and the creation of outlets to expedite the settlement of labour disputes. These outlets will be opened during the evening, and judges will be appointed for the hearing of labour disputes. There will be new laws, legislation, regulatory procedures and employment initiatives in the Labour sector.

Sheikh Nasr said that diagnosing the current labour market situation revealed a number of challenges, and the key discovery centred on the existence of a “free” labour market that relies on non-Omani workforce. A radical move planned by the Labour Ministry will replace the application or permit system for bringing in foreign workers. This year will also see 7,600 expatriates working in ministries replaced by Omanis.

In total, 2021 will see around 35,267 job openings for Omani citizens including a replacement and placement opportunities in private sector. An 8 per cent replacement in private sector in professions such as managers, specialists and technicians is expected as well.

A further shot in the arm for employing Omanis would be the increase in fee for issuing and renewing licence to bring in or retain non-Omani manpower. The fee will depend on the positions and can range from Omani Rial 140 to 1001.