Unskilled or no will?
Despite the availability of jobs in the private sector, many of the sultanate's youth remain unemployed
Unemployment was at the top of the agenda during Oman's 2011 protests. Although the response by the government was the creation of tens of thousands of jobs, it is estimated that there are still at least 150,000 registered job seekers. The majority of these are young people - who make up over half of the total Omani population - and with an ever-increasing population, demand for jobs continues to rise.
Adversely, many private sector companies are still struggling to meet their Omanisation quotas, which stipulate stip·u·late 1
v. stip·u·lat·ed, stip·u·lat·ing, stip·u·lates
a. To lay down as a condition of an agreement; require by contract.
b. that in some industries, 90 per cent of employees must be nationals. So why are jobs not being filled when there are numbers to fill them?
Some claim that there is a reluctance among youth to take jobs in the private sector. The government sector can seem more favourable to those who feel it offers more stabil-ity, less job competition, shorter hours and often more entitlements. Not only have private sector jobs proved to be much less popular among job seekers, it was reported that since last year around 60,000 of those employed in the private sector switched to government jobs.
This attitude has been substantiated in research conducted by Injaz Oman. "We asked groups of 14 year old students where they saw themselves in 2025, and what is their dream job, and the majority of them responded that they want to work for the government, but mainly because they believe it will grant them status and influence," said Shabib al Maamari, executive director of the organisation, which provides young people with training and education to equip e·quip
tr.v. e·quipped, e·quip·ping, e·quips
a. To supply with necessities such as tools or provisions.
b. them in the job market.
"I have heard it said that our youth are suffering from a spoon-fed mentality, that there is an attitude where young people think it is their right to get things from the government. They're not always willing to seek opportunities but are just waiting for the government to solve their employment problem. They take it for granted, and this is reflected in work attitudes. But we all know that won't last. It's not feasible to employ everyone in the government."
Many companies claim they struggle to find youths who have the skills, motivation and attitude required for the jobs they are offering. An 'Education for Youth' report conducted among the Arab region
in 2011 found that up to 80 per
cent of employers felt that their university hires were not appropriately skilled, and that students graduated with 'severe deficits' in soft skills including team work, problem solving problem solving
Process involved in finding a solution to a problem. Many animals routinely solve problems of locomotion, food finding, and shelter through trial and error. , written communication and critical thinking.
"Students coming out of schools and colleges are introduced to a dynamic world of business and
technology, but most of them
lack the basic skills required to
survive the competition," said Anvwar al Balushi, group CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. of Majan Consolidated.
Shabib believes the blame lies not with the youth themselves, but with an education system that fails to teach them basic work skills and provide them with appropriate
role models. "There is a huge gap between academia and work. We need to transfer the knowledge and know-how from the private sector to schools and colleges. The media has glorified glo·ri·fy
tr.v. glo·ri·fied, glo·ri·fy·ing, glo·ri·fies
1. To give glory, honor, or high praise to; exalt.
2. government officials and they've become role models for the youth. But these are not the only people in Oman who are successful. We need to showcase role models who have worked and made it."
Robert Maclean Robert MacLean is an Aviation Security Whistleblower.
In July 2003, U.S. Federal Air Marshal (FAM) Robert MacLean tried to blow the whistle  within the Unites States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on a plan to reduce air marshal coverage of , principal of the National Hospitality Institute, also believes Oman's youth are often given an unfair rap. "We often have employers expecting people with a strong attitude towards work from fresh school-leavers. But at that point, they haven't had any experience," he said. "There isn't a great culture of young workers here, therefore they don't have the skills they need. Sometimes employers complain about the attitudes of their staff, but very often their attitudes are also at fault."
"Gaps between the industrial manpower needs and local resources can be reduced if employers invest in upskilling and retraining re·train
tr. & intr.v. re·trained, re·train·ing, re·trains
To train or undergo training again.
re·train employees," said Anvwar. "Government incentives for such organisations committed to local resource development can motivate employers themselves to bridge the huge gap that exists between the education system and industr-
The responsibility to support young Omanis in work falls on both employers and colleagues, suggests Hussain Fadhil of Hussain Fadhil & Partners. "The expatriate Expatriate
An employee who is a U.S. citizen living and working in a foreign country. commun-ity in the office should support them to come up in their skills. We do not expect the same work efficiency
to begin with. But with the right motivation, they can improve to
"We need to instil in·still also in·stil
tr.v. in·stilled, in·still·ing, in·stills also in·stils
1. To introduce by gradual, persistent efforts; implant: "Morality . . . a lot of social skills and job expectations into the young, and this is the same anywhere," said Robert. "It's up to the industry to understand that we are in an environment where young people are coming through and they need to be supported ."
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