Muscat: Khalid bin Hilal Al Ma'awali, Chairman of Majlis Al Shura, hailed the Royal Orders of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said in approving several development projects in the governorates of Al Dakhiliyah and Al Wusta. The projects include road, water, housing and health services, which will cost a total of OMR214 million.
The Supreme Council for Planning would study requests for the other projects in the two governorates, depending on their priority and urgency, for implementation in the next five-year plan.
This came during the opening speech made by the Chairman of Majlis Al Shura during the 12th session of the second annual sitting of the 7th term, at which Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Bakri, Minister of Manpower, was received.
Al Ma'awali praised the decision of the Council of Ministers to raise the minimum wage of Omani workers in the private sector to OMR325 per month, with effect from July 1, 2013, which was inspired by His Majesty's Royal Speech at the convening of the Council of Oman.
He said that the move will invite the private sector to enhance its contribution to the development process and will motivate Omani youths to work in private establishments and retain their jobs in the private sector.
He said that the Minister of Manpower discussed at the Majlis meeting aspects of the national manpower supply and demand in the labour market for the private sector. He will also focus on the high attrition rate of national manpower in the private sector's establishments.
He also discussed the role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in providing jobs for citizens and supporting and funding free business and self-employment programmes. The minister's statement also touched on the technical education and vocational training plans and programmes that have been adopted to improve the abilities of students enrolled in technical colleges..
Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Bakri discussed several themes related to the requirements of the current and forthcoming stages of development, besides the accomplishments that have been made thus far.
Referring to the increasing resignations of national manpower in the private sector and the plans and policies to control it, Sheikh Al Bakri said the recruitment of the national workforce in the private sector is affected by resignations, terminations, or dismissals, which affect the high rate of turnover of Omanis because they represent challenges to employment and Omanisation in the private sector.
It is also a waste of the government's efforts to provide job opportunities for citizens. He added that 410,796 citizens were hired by private-sector establishments from 2006 to 2011. Resignations from the private sector continued in 2012 because of the desire among citizens to work in the public sector.
The Minister of Manpower added that the results of the studies conducted by the ministry, in cooperation with the Public Authority for Social Insurance, indicated that the main reasons for this phenomenon are the low level of wages, few career opportunities, the difficulty of adapting to the working environment, and the difficulty of hiring Omani citizens because of their problems with the English language.