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Part-time jobs vow for needy mothers.

AROUND 3,000 part-time opportunities will be made available for Bahraini jobseekers who have family or education commitments.

Labour Minister Jameel Humaidan revealed details of the plan to the GDN yesterday, saying it targeted underprivileged mothers.

He said it was among several new initiatives to help provide people with incomes through part-time, temporary or full-time employment.

The minister also said there were currently 2,000 training opportunities and more than 4,000 vacancies available for jobseekers.

Bahrain currently has an unemployment rate of 3.7 per cent according to latest figures.

"The new part-time scheme will help many individuals, who for one reason or another, can't cope with regular normal hours imposed by employers in the private sector for family or educational reasons, with those mostly set to benefit being women with children," said Mr Humaidan.

"There are other schemes in the pipeline for jobseekers that will be announced soon and they will tackle part-time, temporary and full employment applicants.

"We already have 2,000 training opportunities with more than 4,000 jobs available and jobseekers can tap into them if they feel they suit them.

"They are refreshed monthly with others that may be of appeal.

"The hotel and catering sector has 12,000 employees, 2,000 of them are Bahrainis but we believe that this could be 10,000 with very high pay in all fields like administration, reception, maintenance and accounts if Bahrainis - mainly women - stopped thinking that it was serving in bars or as waitresses."

Speaking after the monthly majlis at the Northern Governorate, in Qurayah, yesterday Mr Humaidan said many jobseekers were under pressure from their family to get government jobs.

He claimed that as a result many were choosing to remain unemployed rather than accept jobs in the private sector.

"Unfortunately, many qualified candidates are sitting at home because of bad decisions and they could be working with a reasonable salary and even promoted," he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Humaidan said an investigation would be launched into claims made by female jobseekers at the majlis that they were being offered menial jobs by firms claiming to provide work opportunities through a government scheme.

It followed allegations that women, who signed two-year contracts for private sector jobs, for which the government subsidises half of their salary to encourage Bahraini recruitment, were being tasked with jobs such as cleaning toilets.

"We need to carry out some inspections to all of those involved in our 'half-half' scheme, in which employers pay half of the wage and we (the government) pay the other half, because such accusations suggest we are being cheated," he said.

"People shouldn't mistake our words - we are not against work, even cleaning toilets, but there are criteria that should be followed concerning those who sign up for the two-year experience.

However, Mr Humaidan said he was opposed to introducing a minimum wage for Bahrainis.

"If we say the minimum wage is BD400 for Bahrainis, then employers will use this as an excuse to just pay this amount, but this shouldn't be the case if the job is worth BD700 a month," he explained.

He also highlighted the importance of the Northern Governorate's monthly majlis, which he said had helped at least 20 people get work immediately, and added the initiative could be rolled out to other governorates.

In addition, he revealed within three weeks of the launch of a joint initiative between the governorate and the ministry, 120 of 154 jobseekers had found work.

Also present at the majlis were Northern Governor Ali Al Asfoor, Northern Municipal Council chairman Mohammed Bu Hamood and vice-chairman Ahmed Al Kooheji, dignitaries, club and society officials and ministry representatives.

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:May 22, 2015
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