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Humaidan with Schmidt at the signing ceremony

Bahrain set to launch new work standards

Manama, October 3, 2012

New occupational standards, which will regulate the training of thousands of Bahraini and expatriate workers as part of labour market reforms, will be introduced for the first time in Bahrain within two years.

They will be implemented across 125 professions.

The initiative will cost the Labour Ministry BD1.4 million ($3.69 million).

The ministry signed a contract yesterday with German International Corporation (GTZ)-International Services (IS) at the ministry’s complex in Zayed Town.

“We are looking to carry out reforms to the labour market. This is the time to organise and develop all sectors, which we believe will reflect on the economy as productivity increases,” said Labour Minister Jameel Humaidan.

“The new standards – which will benefit Bahrainis and expatriates – have long-term benefits as we move on to implement other standards for employment and accreditation. There is a gap between workers’ training and the needs of the market.

“For many years, we have been seeking temporary solutions. However now, as directed by (Deputy Premier) Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, we have to come up with something that will last a long time.

“The standards will not be compulsory for every training institute in the country, and at the moment we have many who are on board and they will have to work with us to come up with the blueprint.”

The new standards will also oblige training institutes to have computerised links with employers, added Humaidan.

“Training will not be occasional. It will be ongoing as assessments will be directed both ways – on workers’ performance and whether they have benefited from what has been presented or have brought about a positive change in their contributions,” he said.

“The standards will certainly draw a balance between formal education and skills training. It will ensure that everyone is performing their tasks in the best way possible.

“A total of 125 occupations, which is around 90 per cent of the market, will benefit from what is going to be done over the next two years.”

The project’s partners include Economic Development Board (EDB), Specific Council for Vocational Training in Retail, Specific Council for Vocational Training in Industry, Specific Council for Vocational Training in Construction, Information and Communication Technology Specific Council, Specific Council for Training in Hospitality and the Bahrain Institute for Banking and Finance (BIBF).

During the signing ceremony, GIZ-IS Arab regional executive director Peter Michael Schmidt explained that a survey will be carried out on all occupations and three basic standards will be drawn – skills, knowledge and perfectionism.

“We will have five levels that trainees will be divided into and they will start from skilled workers to administrators,” he said.

“Our work will focus on providing a training infrastructure that is sustainable and this will certainly require improving organisational and administrative structures related to vocational development.

“Twenty-five specialists from across German institutes will work with the ministry and all specific councils and other bodies concerned to come up with the core for the standards over 22 months.” – TradeArabia News Service




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