Investments ‘created 6,400 new jobs’

Labour Minister Jameel Humaidan has revealed that new foreign investments have provided more than 6,400 jobs in the last year ... with more to come, MPs heard.

Further education and training opportunities also continue to be part of extensive plans to help job-seekers find employment.

“We are seeking more job opportunities for Bahrainis,” he said. “A new programme is under process with Tamkeen (labour fund) and Bahrain Polytechnic for six months-to-a-year training on specific fields that are in demand by the private sector. Further details will be announced soon.”

He guaranteed assistance to serious job-seekers and dismissed suggestions that any were being thwarted from receiving help in their endeavours of securing employment.

Mr Humaidan added that legal action against more than 2,400 illegal expatriate workers had been taken as part of a major crackdown on employment violations last year.

He added while 1,967 were runaways and 482 were found breaching rules by working for other employers illegally despite holding valid work permits. Of the runaways, 887 were regular workers and 1,080 were domestic helpers.

Mr Humaidan, who is also Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) board chairman, told MPs during the weekly session yesterday that a total of 559,822 expatriates had active work permits. A total of 486,047 were employed in 2,655 occupations as of March 5, 2023, and 73,775 were domestic workers.

“The issue of illegal workers remains an ongoing problem and we are working on solutions with the Bahrain Chamber,” he said. “The monthly number of illegal workers has dropped to around a half over just the past two months.

“It appears that this problem is just like a water puddle, even when dried up, it returns again and we have to be ready to explore further options to tackle the issue.”

There are 234,001 registered Indian workers, followed by 88,142 Bangladeshis and 60,330 Pakistanis out of 20 top labour exporting countries, the session heard.

Filipinas constitute the highest number of domestic workers (20,328) followed by Indians (19,810) and Ethiopians (9,064) of the 10 main countries.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Dr Mohammed Mubarak Juma also appeared to reply to a question by MP Hisham Al Awadhi on assistance being offered to students with disabilities.

“We have specialised teachers helping pupils suffering from particular disabilities,” he said. “And, we have students with disabilities who are now successfully studying at Bahrain University having completed all school levels from primary to secondary.”

The Works Minister responded to several questions on infrastructure services, saying that priority was focused on newly-urbanised areas, particularly in ensuring there were adequate sewage networks.

Electricity and Water Affairs Minister Yasser Humaidan also responded to a question on the ‘tampered readings’ situation highlighted last year, saying that the matter had been dealt with legally and technically.




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