New initiatives for Bahraini job-seekers in the pipeline

NEW initiatives that will increase the chances of Bahraini university graduates finding quality jobs with matching pay will be launched soon, it has been revealed.

Labour Minister Jameel Humaidan added that though strategies are currently in place to ensure that Bahrainis are the first choice for employers, there is a constant review of labour market needs.

The minister was giving a speech to mark International Labour Day or International Workers’ Day, celebrated globally yesterday, at the Bahrain Conference Centre, Crowne Plaza Bahrain under the patronage of His Majesty King Hamad, who deputised Mr Humaidan to attend on his behalf.

A total of 291 outstanding employees were honoured at the annual event organised by the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU).

Present were Bahrain Chamber chairman Sameer Nass, Parliament second deputy Speaker Ahmed Qarrata, dignitaries, diplomats and invited guests.

Mr Humaidan referred to the ‘Aspire’ initiative rolled out by the Cabinet on April 10, aimed at supporting university graduates financially for two years while also equipping them with more technical and management skills during the period.

Under it, young Bahrainis in the private sector who have completed a year in the job and earn less than BD600 could receive pay increases of not less than 20 per cent under the new government support scheme.

He also pointed out that 3,000 university graduates from unwanted specialisations would be trained for jobs that are in demand.

The minister said that the planned new initiatives would be a step up from the existing support programmes that prioritise the employment of Bahrainis in the private sector.

“Following the special employment package programme for medics and support medical professions, we introduced another special programme for graduate engineers that sees financial support of up to BD1,000 monthly for a five-year employment period, which is the time required to get the necessary licence.

“Another programme sees law graduates getting BD300 monthly for two years until they obtain a licence.”

He added that a pioneering national training initiative for 240 bright Bahrainis in cybersecurity and advanced information technology was launched in December last year.

“The new three-year programme, which will begin next month, will see 80 nationals receiving intensive training every year at the Information and eGovermment Authority (iGA),” said Mr Humaidan.

“They will be paid BD400 monthly during the training period. Thirty will then be selected for posts within the iGA and 50 in the private sector with monthly salaries likely to exceed BD800.”

The minister added that new professional training programmes have been launched with Bahrain Polytechnic for graduates in unwanted specialisations.

“We expect around 3,000 to benefit from those programmes, which range from between six and 12 months to complete, before being re-offered to the private sector for employment opportunities,” he explained.

“The Training with Job Assurance (Dhamaan), Training While Employed (Foras) and Training Through Private Institutes (Tamheed) will continue being offered in partnership with Tamkeen.”

Meanwhile, the minister pointed out that all initiatives helped increase university graduates’ employment by 31 per cent last year compared to 23pc in 2021.

“Last year, we employed 9,427 university graduates compared to 6,261 in 2021,” he said.

“Rejuvenating the private sector continues to be the main pillar in ensuring the national economy’s wheel moves forward and it is evident as we reduced the unemployment rate from 7.7pc during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021 to 5.4pc by the end of last year.”

He said that the government has managed to attract foreign investments worth $1.124 billion last year, which created 6,397 jobs.

“Of these, 1,652 jobs had pay over BD1,000.

“The government, the business sector and workers will continue to co-operate towards a brighter future for the labour market,” said Mr Humaidan.

GFBTU secretary-general Abdulqader Al Shehabi said living standards for workers continues to haunt the labour market scene.

“There is huge inflation, increase in taxes, low wages and weakened local currency that is robbing workers of their peace of mind,” he said.

“We have asked before that the lowest wage given to nationals should be BD700 with many jobs currently occupied by expats being made exclusive to Bahrainis.

“The only option for the pension funds to remain and continue is by having more Bahrainis in the workforce.”

Mr Al Shehabi added that privatisation of services has led to dismissals and fewer jobs as businesses save money.

“This needs to be addressed by all major contributors to the national economy.”

The honourees speech was given by Bahrain Gas Company employee Mariam Rashid.

Mr Nass praised workers’ contributions.

Mr Qarrata pledged parliamentary support for union work.

 

Source: https://www.gdnonline.com/Details/1240552/New-initiatives-for-Bahraini-job-seekers-in-the-pipeline

 

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