MUSCAT, JAN 4 – The National Training Fund (NTF), the Sultanate’s workforce development flagship, will support the training and skills development of an estimated 10,000 Omanis over fiscal 2021 and 2022. A sum of RO 26.8 million has been earmarked for this expenditure in the 2020 State Budget unveiled last week. The funding support is one of several initiatives and measures outlined by the government in the State Budget as part of its endeavours to “regulate the labour market and utilise youth capacity to spur growth and development”, the Budget statement noted.
The National Training Fund was set up by Royal Decree in 2017 with the mandate to “bridge the skills gap between education and job market needs through human capacity building, and as part of the government’s policy to enhance the skills of Omani job-seekers.’’
Since its establishment three years ago, as many as 9,110 Omanis have registered under the Fund’s ‘Training for Employment’ scheme. Of this total, 3,310 candidates have since graduated from the programme and are currently in employment. The remaining 5,800 recruits are still in training. Total investment made towards its training initiatives amounts to RO 27.3 million as of end-2019, according to the Budget statement.
To help bolster secure employment for the tens of thousands of Omanis entering the labour market every year, the government launched the National Centre for Employment which formally commenced operations on January 1, 2020.
Conceived as an apex national employment bureau operating under the direct supervision of the Council of Ministers, the Centre will give strong new impetus to the government’s efforts to open up opportunities for Omani job-seekers.
It will primarily focus on economic sectors that are more prospective in their job generation potential, as well as roll out a network of manpower officials in all of the governorates that will job-seekers connect with companies and organisations that have suitable openings.