The economy of Oman descriptive summary

The economy of Oman is heavily dependent on the revenue generated from foreign workforce and hydrocarbon. Unlike its neighbours, Oman does not have enough funds to escape its reliance on the two. In the middle 90s, Oman established a long-term expansion strategy becoming the first country in the Gulf Cooperation Council to do so. The expansion strategy was termed as, Vision 2020. The main purpose of the strategy was to reduce the dependencies and create a demographic shift at the same time. First, they wanted to change the private sector to be the leading cause of economic growth and create employment opportunities for Omanis. However, the country has not reached those goals and the economy records high unemployment levels for Omanis and increased demand for foreign workforce (Ali et al., 2017). Many Omanis work for public sectors and the few in the private sector have specialized in specific occupational areas. The Oman economy is heavily dependent on low-skilled foreign workforce except the dominance of Omanis in low labour intensity and highly capitalized sectors. Some of the other sectors that Omanis worked were jobs that did not require high skills. We will discuss the human resource challenges in the Oman workforce and the changing labour market trends. We will also look at the National CEO program initiative and its impact on the omanisation strategy.

Oman has less published data on issues facing the labour market. However, some of the the most common issues include low labour force involvement. Labour force includes employed and unemployed individuals. However it does not include workers in the informal sector.According to International Labour Organisation, the information on the participation of workers was estimated at 58% which was an increase from 54% in 1980. Research shows that male participation was slightly higher than that of their male counterparts. There was a decrease of female participation in Omani Labour market because of the traditions and the cultural norms in the earlier years. However, in the present times, there have been campaigns to promote gender equality which has seen a desirable increase in female participation (Ali et al., 2017).. It has been the long time goal of the Sultanate to incorporate women into the workforce. The strategy has seen the participation of women in politics, such as the nomination of female Ministers. There have been emphasees made of female education to ensure they get the best education to compete with their male counterparts in the job market in Oman more than other Gulf countries. Research has shown that Oman women workforce has increased from 30,000 to 80,000 and has caused the creation of more job opportunities 

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in the public and private sector. The higher number of workforce in the public sector over the private sector is characterized by favorable working conditions. However, the number of foreign female workers remains higher than those of Omani nationals. 

Another issue is on increased dominance of foreign workers. Most of the Omani labour force is comprised of foreigners. The non- Omanis play a major role in the economic development of the Oman nation and the exploitation of the natural resources. At the same time, there was the creation of a program to control the inflation of foreign workers which was referred to as the Kafala. The program was to ensure a flexible work force rotation in the economy’s cycle. Under this program, the non-Omani workers were treated differently from the Omani nationals because they were regarded to as guests. Due to this notion, the program has led to decreased wages on the workers and poor working conditions, especially for low-skilled workers. Over the years, the Omani government has worked on changing those conditions on seeing the problems that the system has caused (Ali et al., 2017). There has been improvements such as the provision of health insurance on the workers and the introduction of electronic bank mode of payments. The system was to be abolished initially but it was reconsidered. Instead of abolition, there were changes including change of employment without the consent of the sponsor. Oman is expected to advance reforms according to the International labour organisation. The Foreign workers account for 79% of the total workers in the public and private sector. However the government tends to ignore that factor because the workers are not said to be permanent. This has however not been the case because the workers end up being permanent workers despite their expected duration n of two years. Looking at this scenario from the perspective of the employer, by the time the contract for the foreign workers is over, they have experienced which is unmatched with fresh employees. Therefore the employer perceives retaining them as a way to cut down on training costs and the time that would be used to interview other workers. In addition, some of the workers ignore immigration laws and choose to stay illegally. The private sector is said to employ most of the foreign workers, and male participation is higher than that of females. 

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