Expat jobs ban in Oman still on after Omani recruitment targets met

Published:  30 Apr at 6 PM
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A specific ban on hiring expat workers in Oman is still on the books even after the target for recruitment of locals has been met.

Oman’s Ministry of Manpower has promised not to delete its ban on the employment of expats even after its recruitment target for local workers is within 55 jobs of the initial number of 25,000. The recruitment drive had been slated to finish at the end of May, but will in fact reach its target by the end of this week. As a result, the Omani government is looking to increase the target figure for employment of Omani citizens to 50,000.

Over half the new Omani recruits are men, according to data issued by the government, with 16,884 males entering work in jobs previously held by expats. Jobs for local women received 8,061 successful enquiries during the same period. The ban on new expat hirings as part of the state’s Omanization programme took effect last January, with 87 professions affected, and the government is now determined to force employers to give precedence to local workers by extending the ban until there are no more Omanis suited to the private sector jobs on offer.

Meanwhile in Saudi Arabia, the government is mulling over the amending of a law forbidding expats from changing employers. Highly-skilled expat employees would be permitted to move between employers within a specified time limit, but only if their previous contracts have expired. According to an official from the Labour and Social Development Ministry, the new law should provide flexibility and freedom of movement to top talented expats who wish to swap companies, thus making the Kingdom more attractive as a destination for skilled foreign professionals.
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