Oman launches new job center service for locals as expat visa ban continues

There has been an expat visa ban in place in Oman since January, 2018 to help tackle the country's unemployment. (File/Shutterstock)
Updated 06 January 2019
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Oman launches new job center service for locals as expat visa ban continues

  • The Job Center will help identify Omanis suited to job openings in the country
  • The service is the latest in the push to reduce unemployment in Oman's local population

DUBAI: The ongoing push to help Omanis into work continues with the introduction of a job center service that will provide information on vacancies and help identify possible candidates, national daily Times of Oman reported.

Oman’s National Center for Employment has been created to help the ongoing efforts to identify Omanis for positions that might have previously been filled by expats, the report added, adding that the service was set to open in February.

“The new center will act as a one-stop center for jobseekers, to unify employment efforts and effectively coordinate the supply and demand of job opportunities in the Sultanate,” Mohammed Al-Busaidi, Chairman of the Youth and Human Resources Development Committee at the Shura Council, told Times of Oman.
“The center will direct jobseekers towards employment opportunities in the private and public sectors.”

And the center, which is open to both the private and public sectors, will not just help people into employment, Al-Busaidi explained.

“The center will also follow up with people who have been employed and those who are yet to be employed due to their degrees, in which case, the center will provide training for those jobseekers or ensure their re-specialization.”

Under the new system companies that fail to employ Omanis identified as suitable for a position, and recruit expats instead, will not be granted the appropriate documents.

The center is the latest in the ongoing efforts to employ Omanis which started in January, 2018, with a six-month visa ban for expats in certain areas of work.

The ban was extended to other areas of work later in the year and again at the end of the year.

Since the ban was introduced there has been a 3.4 percent reduction in the expat labor force between October 2017 and 2018.

The biggest decline in unemployment was for Omani citizens aged 25 to 29 where there was a drop of 13.6 percent over the last month, according to the National Center for Statistics and Information.

Meanwhile the unemployment rate for Omanis aged 30 to 34 dropped by 11 percent, and by 7.1 per cent for those from 35 to 39-years-old.

In contrast the number of expats working in Oman dropped by 3.4 percent from 1,795,689 in December 2017 to 1,739,473 now – with the biggest drop in the construction sector, which saw a 13.69 percent reduction from nearly 651,000 in December 2016 to just under 572,600 in October 2018.


Instagram moves into e-commerce with shopping button

Updated 1 min 1 sec ago
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Instagram moves into e-commerce with shopping button

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook-owned Instagram on Tuesday made a move into potentially lucrative e-commerce by adding an option to buy products shown off in posts by selected brands.
A new “checkout” button for instant purchasing launched in a beta version of the app in the US with a limited number of businesses, according to the popular image-centric messaging service.
“We’re introducing Checkout on Instagram,” the Silicon Valley based division of Facebook said in an online post.
“When you find a product you love, you can now buy it without leaving the app.”
Tapping the checkout button will allow shoppers to select options such as size or color and then pay for items without leaving the Instagram app.
Previously, people inspired to buy products featured in Instagram posts had to follow links to outside online shopping sites.
Information entered for an initial purchase will be stored for future use, according to Instagram.
It remained to be seen how people would feel trusting information such as credit card details to a service owned by Facebook, which has been hit with waves of criticism for its handling of personal data.
Brands taking part in the checkout feature included Adidas, Burberry, Dior, H&M, Nike, Oscar de la Renta, Prada, and glasses retailer Warby Parker.
Facebook makes the bulk of its money from digital advertising but has dabbled with e-commerce in the past. It has pitched its Messenger service as a communication platform for shops or brands to connect with customers.