The president of the body responsible for increasing the level of nationals employed in the country's construction sector has said that working conditions need to improve in order to attract locals.
Speaking at an Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry event last week, the president for the joint committee for Omanisation in the construction sector, Amer Al Sulaimani, said: “We need to make the construction sector favourable for nationals," according to Muscat Daily.
He added: "By 2030, a large number of citizens will be looking for jobs and some will have to join the construction sector. Hence, it is important to improve working conditions, change the perception that Omanis do not fit in the construction business and encourage more business owners to employ citizens.”
He sugggested that Oman could follow a similar method to Saudi Arabia by increasing the cost of expatriate workers in order to raise demand for local staff, and added that Omanisation levels could be imposed on contractors.
"This will ensure that there is no shortage of workforce in this sector and companies will follow the rules and hire more Omani employees," he said.
Such moves will also help to develop the sector and ensure local firms had enough qualified staff and could eventually complete with major international firms in the future.
In April, contractor Carillion Alawi's project manager told the Oman Tribune that it had struggled to attract Omanis with the right skills for a project it is carrying out at eight Petroleum Development sites in Oman.
The firm was seeking 100 local jobseekers to service the contracts and although 300 people turned up, many of them lacked the necessary technical skills, with 70 of the 300 all seeking jobs on a helpdesk that only required 10 staff.