MUSCAT, Oman, April 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
The Omanisation programme, a top priority of the Omani government, is working towards replacing expatriates with trained Omani personnel. The programme was introduced in 1988 and by the turn of the millennium, the number of Omanis in government services had surpassed the official target of 72%.
However, according to the Minister of Manpower Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Bakri, some of the government's policies relating to expat labour and Omanisation may be reassessed.
The minister explained: "The ministry is very flexible when it comes to re-examining some of the policies related to Omanisation and the foreign workforce if the companies and factories can commit to identifying a mechanism to increase the number of Omani cadres in these institutions to be agreed upon between the ministry and business owners."
Currently, some 44% of Oman's population consists of expatriate workers and their families. His Majesty Sultan Qaboos has been emphatic of the need to boost Omanisation. The campaign is not meant simply to ensure jobs for all citizens, but also to reduce Oman's traditional reliance on expatriate workers. To date, thousands of illegal workers have been sent back home to create room for citizens.
The news comes as Oman has been fighting an ongoing battle with significant numbers of illegal expat workers earning a living in the Sultanate. A number of initiatives have been introduced to reduce the numbers of illegal workers and to encourage expats with expired visas to leave the country without fear of prosecution.
When foreign workers do obtain a visa to work in Oman, it is usually tied to a specific employer. However, a number of employers and employees are increasingly ignoring these rules. It has been claimed that some immigrant workers are taking up alternative positions to what is stated on their visa. As a result, a crackdown is being launched to deal with this problem.
The new initiative doesn't just protect jobs for Omani workers, but also guarantees that expats in Oman are treated fairly and consistently. Expats and employers can feel confident that their rights will be protected under Omani law to complete the work outlined on their residency application.
SOURCE Oman News