THE JOB MARKET OUTLOOK
Optimistic Stance on Job Creation

The National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) has revealed that the total number of workers in Oman’s private and government sectors stood at 2,255,409 at the end of 2016.

With the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasting a 3.7% growth in Oman’s real GDP for 2018 and a substantial number of projects signed off over recent years, more positive news in the market is expected once the project pipeline materialises creating further employment and development opportunities for the Nation’s labour market.

Resilient Government Support & Job Focused Sectors

Starting from December 2017, the Omani government, in cooperation with the private sector, will provide 25,000 job opportunities for Omanis.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Bakri, Minister of Manpower, elaborated that jobs will be provided to Omanis within the Oil & Gas, Finance, Insurance, Logistics and Mining industries located within the special economic zones. He added that the target of 40,000 job opportunities should be created annually as the number of active jobseekers has now reached 47,000, - 62% of whom are women.

Planned Investment in Oil & Gas to Further Boost Employment Situation

Dr. Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy, Minister of Oil and Gas, has announced that the Omani government plans to make a huge investment of OMR 4.4 billion in various upstream and downstream projects in 2018.

Experts believe that this can boost Oman’s economy and help reinvigorate construction projects, leading to more jobs and employment opportunities.

Strong Scope for Entrepreneurship

According to the ‘Entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa 2017’ Survey conducted by Bayt.com and YouGov, over two-thirds (68%) of Oman residents prefer to be self-employed and have their own business, if given the choice.

Furthermore, among those who are employed, 86% said that they are either thinking of starting a business or have already attempted to do so in the past.

Regional Preference for On-The-Job-Training & Vocational Training Courses

According to Bayt.com’s ‘On-The-Job Training in the Middle East and North Africa’ Research, 91.4% of job seekers prefer companies that offer career programs.

Among the respondents, there was a high expectation (82.1%) that employers should provide on-the-job training, along with a promotion plan in place, prior to announcing any new vacancy.

Dedicated Omanisation Drive

More than 80% of all job vacancies currently posted in Oman are for Omanis only, according to recruitment agencies.

  • The Omanisation target for the Engineering sector is set at 50%, with targets of 70% for technicians and 80% in the category of skilled workers.
  • In the Oil & Gas sector, the Omanisation level is 90% for production and operation companies and 82% for direct service companies.
  • For the Accounting sector, the Omanisation target is 29% for managers, 55% for specialists, and 66% for technicians. For clerical positions, the Omanisation level is 100%.
  • In the Industrial sector, the Omanisation target is set at 35%.
  • For Banking, the target is now 90%, and for Financing and Insurance the new targets are set at 45%.
Technology & Vocational Technology Colleges Accreditation Initiation

The Ministry of Manpower (MoM) has started the process of accreditation for its 7 Colleges of Technology and 8 Colleges of Vocational Technology.

This will improve the quality of education and training to provide tailored and skilled manpower, as per Industry requirements, in various fields. Currently the Ministry is going through a standardised assessment with the Oman Academic Accreditation Authority (OAAA) for this purpose.

Gender Representation Shift in Employment Market

Gender representation in Oman’s employment market is all set to witness a change with more women expected to join the workforce in the coming years.

Data shows a paradigm shift in the job pattern with the percentage of female job-seekers rising above 60%, as compared with men, since the beginning of 2017. A survey conducted by the National Centre for Statistics and Information found 63% of women believe their educational qualifications are commensurate with the requirements of the labour market.