Tamkeen initiative to step up job skills
Manama, July 17, 2011
Tamkeen, Bahrain’s labour fund, has launched a programme which aims to cover 50 per cent of the fees of any professional course for Bahrainis, to help improve the skills of job-seekers and professionals.
Tamkeen has agreed to cover 50 per cent of the fees of any course in an attempt to boost the skills of job-seekers and professionals.
It is open to unemployed or working Bahrainis in the public and private sector.
"Tamkeen will pay 50 per cent of the cost and you pay the other 50 per cent for a professional qualification in any subject," said enterprise and human capital development vice-president Dr Ahmed Al Shaikh.
"The scheme is open to Bahrainis whether they are working or not, either in the public sector or private sector. We want all Bahrainis to have a professional qualification,” he added.
Dr Al Shaikh said Tamkeen had many existing programmes to support the training and development of Bahrainis. He gave the example of a scheme where Tamkeen subsidises the training and part of the employee's wages for companies willing to hire Bahrainis.
"You select the Bahraini employees according to your criteria and you train them in-house or in an institution," said Dr Al Shaikh.
"We have upskilling for Bahrainis where we offer BD2,000 ($5,304) as a training subsidy for each Bahraini and after the course the employee's salary increases by BD100 and we subsidise the BD100 for 18 months. We believe any increase in wages must be linked to an increase in ability."
Dr Al Shaikh said 80 per cent of those working in human resources in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) lack formal qualifications and Tamkeen had launched human resource programmes and workshops to tackle this.
He said the body was also working with schools on a work ethics programme to improve the mindset of Bahrainis before they leave school.
"We are also holding summer camps to help instil corporate culture," he added.
Dr Al Shaikh said Tamkeen had other programmes to help private sector growth.
They include a business development scheme to improve productivity and feasibility, accounting system scheme for SMEs, a quality management system scheme, technology assistance scheme and another to encourage companies to diversify.
"We provide company loans through different banks from BD200 up to BD500,000 at a 2 per cent interest rate," said Dr Al Shaikh. "We support women from very poor families to start up their own business."
"We also support farmers up to BD9,000 to update their businesses, 10 per cent is paid by farmers and 90 per cent by Tamkeen. We have a startup support scheme solution coming up soon where they hold your hand through the first steps,” he added.
Dr Al Shaikh said Tamkeen's programmes were also open to 100 per cent foreign-owned companies.
"Foreign organisations that employ Bahrainis are also eligible for our support schemes in both upskilling their labour force through our human capital development arm and developing their business through our private sector support programmes," he said.
"Tamkeen works under the philosophy that the future for Bahrainis is not created for them, but by them, and we are giving individuals and organisations the tools to make their own success."
Dr Al Shaikh was speaking at a Bahrain British Business Forum (BBBF) lunch held at the InterContinental Regency Bahrain.
It was hosted by BBBF chairman Khalid Al Zayani and attended by British Embassy Deputy Head of Mission Rupert Potter.
The BBBF now has more than 400 members and offers business networking and social meetings.
Membership is open to all nationalities and organisations on an individual or corporate level. – TradeArabia News Service
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