A policy that began in 1988, Omanisation initiative has been on the rise in recent years. Omanisation’s objective, since inception, was to lessen the Sultanate’s reliance on expatriates and building a skilled labour force within its national population.
While many Government offices in the Sultanate have achieved 100 percent Omanisation, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos has decreed the fulfillment of a set percentage quota across six areas of the private sector:
- Banking & Finance – 60%
- Industrial Sector – 35%
- Hotels and Restaurants – 30%
- Wholesale and Retail Sector – 20%
- Contracting – 15%
Omanisation in Private Sector
According to a report by Oman’s National Centre for Statistics and Information, as of May 2019, the Sultanate’s private sector has hired 5 percent more Omanis than the year before. A jump of an impressive 4.8 percent, there are currently 258,536 Omani nationals employed within the private sector.
The highest number of Omanis within the statistic work in the engineering occupation, while clerical jobs and service sector are a close second and third.
Enticement for Omanisation of Industries by the Sultanate
In order to encourage industry moguls to support the Omanisation initiative, the Sultanate has set percentage quotas, for industries, of Omani workers in relation to foreign workers. The companies that achieve these government-mandated objectives are awarded a “green card” – that gives them broader press coverage and preferential treatment in their dealings with the Government.
Visa Bans on Expat Workers
One of the strategies implemented by the Sultanate of Oman in order to strengthen national foothold within the workforce is the visa ban on expat workers. Oman’s Ministry of Manpower has placed a temporary ban on several occupations within the private sector like IT fields, accounting, finance, sales and marketing, management, human resources, insurance, media, airport, and engineering.
The reason for the ban is quite simply to buy enough time to employ Omani nationals within these professions, bringing down unemployment rates amongst the local population, and decrease Oman’s reliance on foreign aid.
Training Programs for Omani Workers
The Sultanate has also launched training programs to prepare Omani workers to take on roles within various sectors. Moreover, major companies like Omantel and Shell have also started training campaigns within the organization to ensure the same within their own firms. By extensively training locals to take on specific jobs, the Sultanate is building a strong and reliable skilled labour force, giving nationals an opportunity to display the skillset that mayhap have been overlooked previously.
The betterment of its local populace takes precedence over any other agenda within the Sultanate of Oman, and the policy of Omanisation is one of the strongest efforts by the Government of Oman to boost self-sufficiency – not just within its people, but within the Sultanate itself.