Omanis giving ‘blue collared’ jobs a snub

The recent trend which has seen many Omanis not take up ‘blue collared’ jobs has been harming Omanisation rates in certain sectors.

There are reports which suggest that citizens are not very keen to accept employment in the construction sector. One of the main reasons for the same is the fact that historically this sector has been a catchment area for expats.


According to the head of the government’s Tanfeedh labor lab programme Shahswar Al Balushi, there are justifiable reasons behind Omanis turning down such blue collar jobs.

“The salary paid is low and living conditions are different. These are the jobs that Omanis don’t want to do,” he said.

The present situation in Oman is not very rosy as there are very limited sectors which provide the deserving jobs and opportunities to young graduates. And then there is an ever-increasing demand for professionals, and they are not available in the market. Hence, there is a huge gulf in the opportunities young people want and the type of jobs they are given.

The construction sector, for example, is the largest and most active sector in the country and they employ upwards of 750,000 people. A vast majority of these workers are blue collared.

“At the moment, the competition for these jobs is among expats coming in from Bangladesh, Nepal, India, etc.,” he said.

It has to be mentioned here that the percentage of Omanis working in the construction sector should be 30 percent, but owing to the pay disparity the figures are nowhere close to where it should be.

Shahswar believes that if new businesses are allowed to bloom in the marker, it will help meet the numbers.

“You need to allow the private sector to create different types of businesses. Suddenly, when you have all these diversified businesses, each diversified profession will have its specific specialization.


“With this, we will not only absorb every type of expertise we have locally, but we will also be asking for new types of expertise to come into the job market,” he said.



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