Manama: Bahrain has no plans to reserve certain jobs to Bahrainis as followed by some neighbouring GCC countries, Labour and Social Development Labour Affairs Undersecretary Sabah Al Dossary said yesterday.
In an interview with Al Ayam daily, Al Dossary ruled out any intention at the moment to limit some jobs to Bahrainis as is done in Saudi Arabia. He pointed out that there was no plan at the moment to limit some jobs to Bahrainis, because the Bahraini economy is free and depends on the principle of competitiveness.
The official underlined that the ministry had taken several initiatives to employ jobless Bahrainis and reduce unemployment rates.
“Many training and rehabilitation programmes are being developed by the ministry to bring Bahrainis to the labour market in a highly efficient manner, in order to enable them to compete with foreign workers. The directives of the Prime Minister HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa are clear in this matter, to make Bahraini workers the best choice for companies and institutions. There is an accepted disparity between Bahraini and foreign workers, but if the Bahraini employee becomes threatened and there is dominance and control of foreigners, there will be a different look and treatment in this matter,” he added.
Al Dossary’s statements comes two months after MP Ghazi Al Rahma and a group of MPs submitted a bill to form a list of professions that should be done only by Bahrainis.
MP Al Rahma told DT News yesterday that the list of positions limited to Bahrainis would include both the public and private sectors. Some of the positions are accountants, human resources specialists, legal consultants, financial consultants, financial experts, information technology specialists and other jobs.
“The main objective is to contribute to the enhancement of Bahrainisation in the private sector, especially that the sector is experiencing a significant decline in the rates of Bahrainization and an increase in the number of foreigners in many jobs, especially senior positions, with no justification for this. This necessitates the intervention of the state to determine a number of professions and limit their employment to Bahrainis, which is a right of the state, as it does not diminish the rights of foreigners and preserves the safety of the Bahraini labour market,” the lawmaker said explaineing the goals of the bill.
MP Al Rahma emphasised that the bill would have a positive impact on social stability and would contribute to solving the unemployment issue among Bahrainis.
He elaborated further, “The bill would serve the employment of Bahrainis in jobs that are appropriate for their specialisations and educational levels. What is happening today in many companies and businesses is that Bahrainis are employed to achieve the Bahrainization rates imposed by the authorities without consideration of efficiency and academic level of the employees. This motivates many companies to resort to employing Bahrainis without university degrees and in small jobs, while the holders of university degrees and higher qualifications are suffering from unemployment.”
When asked if the bill may be described as “unfair” to expats by some critics, Al Rahma replied, “There is no prejudice in this bill. We respect and appreciate all foreign competencies. But, priority should be given to the Bahraini citizens. This is applied in all countries.”
Saudi Arabia recently announced that 32 commercial sectors would be limited to Saudi nationals in the next few months.
Saudi Labour Ministry also banned the issuance of permanent, temporary or seasonal work permits to expats in 19 professions, such as Human Resources Chief Administrators, Labour Affairs Directors and other positions.
Source Credit: DT News