Labour Ministry jobs data ‘far from reality’

Manama : Lawmakers say the unemployment data provided by the Ministry of Labour are only impressionistic and do not necessarily reflect the real  situation. They claim the unemployment numbers among citizens are seriously high and the situation is mainly caused by companies run by expats, who prefers expat employees.

Speaking to Tribune, MP Hamad Al Dosari said the ministry’s statistics that show four per cent unemployment over the past few years “don’t make sense at all”.

“Many citizens come to me to help their sons and daughters find good jobs. And majority prefers jobs in the government to private sector because of the advantages provided by the government.

Another problem is that the Civil Service Bureau is not announcing vacancies in ministries, despite huge requirement,” the MP explained. Echoing a similar view, MP Ibrahim Al Hammadi said Bahrain has more than 8,000 unemployed youth, much higher than the data maintained by the government.

“Bahrain needs to open a frank investigation into the scenario with an aim to eliminate the phenomenon of unemployment.”

He stressed that 30pc quota for citizens in private companies should be raised to 70pc so as to ensure that number of unemployment wouldn’t hit record high of 30,000 or 40,000.

“There are companies which are still entirely run by foreigners, and foreign companies prefer foreigners to Bahrainis because of lower wages and experience, although Bahrainis of both genders have proven their presence and quality of work,” he asserted.

Meanwhile, a Labour Ministry official revealed that 60pc of unemployed youth were university graduates and 72pc of Bahrainis working in the private sector don’t have specialised skills.

Employment officer Hussein Al Shami said the ministry record showed 8,000 unemployed youth in the Kingdom. “Eighty-one per cent of the total unemployed are females, while 60pc of total unemployed are university graduates.”

Mr Al Shami was speaking at a workshop organised by the Bahrain Women’s Union (BWU) in co-operation with the General Federation of Workers Trade Unions on the topic ‘Unemployment among female university graduates’.

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