Job Creation Scheme in Oman
Over the next year, Oman is planning on spending a further $1bn to create jobs for its citizens. The money it is investing into this has come from its oil windfall, where revenues were particularly high especially during the first half of this year. These monies will be able to more easily balance the budget, and, create new jobs. Indeed, the government’s revenues increased 35 percent from the year before to 7.37bn rials ($19.1bn) due to high oil prices and rising production. This amounted to more than quadruple the surplus from the timeframe of the year before.
The population in young is very young. A lot of these youngsters are frustrated at the lack of jobs in the country which last year led to street protests. Yet according to government figures, more than 50,000 new jobs were created from May 2011 to June 2012. Still, while the government hasn’t released unemployment figures, a manpower ministry official put the figure at 22,000 out of around 2 million. 15,000 of these are those who graduated this summer.
As well, according to the International Monetary Fund, in order to make a significant impact on lowering unemployment in the region, around 45,000 new private sector positions need to be created each year.
U.S.-Arab Chamber and OCCI
There is also an opportunity for America to help an Omani job creation scheme. According to CEO and President of the U.S.-Arab Chamber, David Hamod, it is working with the Oman Chamber of Commerce & Industry (OCCI) to share US successful methods and stories to help start-ups in Oman. The OCCI’s Chairman H.E. Khalil bin Abdullah Al Khonji believes entrepreneurship is the way forward vis-à-vis job creation. Since the private sector is largely comprised of small- and medium-sized businesses, entrepreneurs need to take advantage of the connections they have with other business communities, like America, where crucial partnerships have been formed that will ultimately ease progress and development.
Recently OCCI and the U.S.-Arab Chamber announced a merger plan of the U.S. Joint Business Council which is set to promote start-ups; work on job creation and be the link between US and Omani SME’s. In addition, according to Minister Al Sunaidi, the government has been working hard on job creation in a variety of ways, such as bridging the gap between the public and private sectors; raising the minimum wage and making it easier to change positions between the sectors. As well, Oman’s government has substantially increased job opportunities in the public sector; elevated the standard of social services and put more emphasis on education.
So overall, significant means is going into improving the employment situation in Oman, thanks in most part to the country’s substantial oil revenues, but also due to various chambers getting together to see how best they can be of assistance.