Move to step up Bahrainisation in tourism sector
Manama, April 27, 2014
A five-year strategy is being launched to encourage Bahrainis to work in the hospitality sector, said a senior government official, adding that the sector, whether tourist facilities or restaurants, offers some of the best jobs in the labour market.
The Bahrainisation rate in the hospitality sector was 33 per cent a decade ago, but has dropped to as low as 15 per cent, Labour Minister Jameel Humaidan was quoted as saying in the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
The Cabinet has approved plans for a specialised training institute, as it seeks to change misconceptions among citizens that the industry is not compatible with social values.
"Whether it is managers, supervisors, administrators or receptionists, there are decent jobs available with a pay of no less than BD300 ($791),” said Humaidan.
"It is not just serving food or beverages and that misconception has to end, along with the idea that women should not work in these respected facilities."
The government hopes to increase the Bahrainisation rate in the sector to 22 per cent within five years.
Humaidan said work on a training institute was supposed to begin a few months ago, but was halted so that a more suitable location could be found.
"The institute was planned on a plot of land in the middle of the new Busaiteen government housing project and we think it is a wrong location, so we have asked for an exchange and the Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry has been informed to work on it," he said.
"Now, we are working on a detailed plan and feasibility study for the institute and its importance so whenever it gets built, we can kick in our programmes.
"Oman is an example we have to compete with, they came here a decade ago to learn from our previous experience in the sector and implemented it. Now they have 50 per cent Omanisation, and on a long-term we have to be on those terms."
Humaidan said the government would soon launch the 10,000 Bahraini employment programme, which was approved by the Cabinet last month.
"We will have jobs for 4,000 secondary graduates, 4,000 university graduates and 2,000 diploma holders - our aim is to have most pumped in the hospitality sector," he said.
"The problem is that there are some with the mentality that they only want jobs in major companies and there are cases in which parents have come complaining to me that they want their sons and daughters out of small and medium size (SME) businesses.
"Parents come wanting jobs in Bapco, Alba and Gulf Air, but that's the wrong approach.
"In Europe, 85 per cent of businesses are SMEs, and ironically pay higher than major companies because with less employees and more work, the wages are more." – TradeArabia News Service