Jobs push boon for 800 Bahrainis

MORE than 800 Bahraini graduates have been hired as a result of government efforts to prioritise their recruitment over expatriates, it has emerged.

The 826 jobseekers were found positions with firms that initially applied for visas for foreign personnel.

A total of 2,456 visa applications were received by the Labour and Social Development Ministry over the past six months, but it identified 1,135 that could be filled by a Bahraini – and has so far matched 826 of those vacancies with a Bahraini recruit.

Details were revealed by Labour and Social Development Minister Jameel Humaidan yesterday, six months after the launch of a National Employment Programme by the Cabinet in February.

“An additional 1,135 vacancies were identified as a result of 2,456 employer applications for expatriate workers – and through this initiative 826 Bahraini college graduates were employed,” said Mr Humaidan.

The scheme has led to a 45 per cent increase in the number of private sector vacancies to 3,531, as well as a 35pc increase in all vacancies to 6,698.

Average monthly salaries of Bahrainis who work for the government are still BD265 higher than those in the private sector, according to the latest official figures.

The average pay for Bahraini civil servants is BD696, while average salary of Bahrainis in the private sector stands at BD431.

However, Mr Humaidan said there had been a 3pc increase in private sector salaries – adding that 62.1pc of Bahrainis in all jobs earned in excess of BD400.

He also revealed that more than 30pc of Bahraini employees in the private sector earned over BD1,000.

The minister shared details of the pay breakdown after it emerged on Monday that 11,649 Bahrainis had been hired since the launch of the National Employment Programme.

“The National Employment Programme is one of the vital and important programmes that contributed to the employment of citizens in various jobs with wages ranging from BD300 to more than BD800,” said Mr Humaidan in a statement.

“The daily employment rate increased by more than 30pc, as it increased to 103 jobseekers employed daily when the previous rate didn’t exceed 78.

“Vacancy rates also increased by more than 35pc in the months following the launch of the programme to an average of 83 vacancies daily, compared with 60 previously.

“The total number of vacancies in the first half of 2019 reached a total of 6,698.”

Mr Humaidan also revealed that 3,531 private sector companies had come forward to employ jobseekers in the months following the launch of the national recruitment scheme.

Meanwhile, a total of 2,768 jobseekers benefited from training programmes conducted in collaboration with Tamkeen, which has provided 500 such courses.

“A total of 529 professions were limited to college graduates and this resulted in outstanding results that contributed to the hiring of university students through constructive communication with employers,” added the minister.

In addition, a total of 5,656 unemployed Bahrainis benefited from a new format for unemployment benefits – which was increased from BD150 to BD200 a month for Bahraini holders of university degrees and from BD120 to BD150 for those without degrees.

The monthly payment was also extended from a period of six months to nine months, while the amount paid to someone who loses their job was increased from BD500 to BD1,000.

Second quarter statistics released by the Social Insurance Organisation show that 6.03pc Bahrainis (2,873) have a monthly income of less than BD400 in the public sector and 45pc (42,722) in the private sector.

Meanwhile, 73pc (350,135) of expatriates in the private sector earn less than BD200, while 15pc (71,307) earn between BD200 and BD399.



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