Bahrain launches 10,000 jobs plan
Manama, June 12, 2014
A national scheme has been launched to help 10,000 unemployed Bahrainis to find jobs in the next two years.
The BD30 million ($79.1 million) National Employment Project (NEP) aims to tackle unemployment in the country through co-ordination between jobseekers and employers in the public and private sectors, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
It was launched yesterday by Labour Minister Jameel Humaidan in the presence of government officials, MPs and businessmen at the ministry in Isa Town.
A total of 4,000 university graduates, 2,000 diploma holders and 4,000 high school graduates have been identified and urged to register at one of five employment centres located across the country to benefit from the two-year scheme.
The centres will then assess the applicants' skills and match them with available job vacancies.
"The gap between the manpower need of the market and its availability is huge," said Humaidan.
"We are primarily working on ways to bridge this gap.
"The government's aim is to provide jobs to Bahrainis so they lead a decent life.
"At the same time we urge young job-seekers to accept available opportunities be it even in private sector or Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)."
Details of the project were announced by Labour Ministry human resources development and training department director Essam Al Alawi in the presence of labour affairs assistant under-secretary Dr Mohammed Ali Al Ansari, under-secretary Sabah Al Dossary and training assistant under-secretary Redha Ahmed Hubail.
Dr Al Ansari said the ministry had to overcome three major challenges if the project was to be successful.
"The first is the gap between job market requirements and available workforce," he told the GDN on the sidelines of the event.
"The second is the 78 per cent of women job-seekers - the private sector mentality of linking productivity with hiring men needs to be worked on, which will help more women to be employed.
"And the final challenge is job seekers focusing only on government or major companies like Alba and Bapco.
"They need to consider the jobs available in private sector and SMEs."
He said the project also aimed to increase the Bahrainisation rate in the labour market.
"There is no set specific percentage target and beyond the percentage hike, it is employment to nationals which we aim at," he added.
Private sector companies that hire Bahrainis registered with the scheme will receive initial financial aid.
"For university graduates who are hired through the NEP, the ministry will support BD200 of their salary during the first year and BD150 in the second year," explained a ministry spokeswoman.
"For diploma holders this will be BD100 only for a year, while it is BD50 for a year for high school graduates and others."
The ministry will also provide rehabilitation programmes for people who cannot find jobs in their specialised field.
"The ministry will help such job seekers be trained in other fields and help them get a job," added the spokeswoman. - TradeArabia News Service