Manama, Feb. 25 (BNA): His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa today launched the National Employment Program at the weekly Cabinet meeting held in Gudaiybiya Palace.
In line with the directives of His Royal Highness the Prime Minister, Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, the program is designed to make citizens the first choice of employment in the private and public sectors.
During a press conference held at Al Gudaibiya Palace, His Excellency Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, the Minister of Finance and National Economy, outlined four key initiatives within the National Employment Program, which include:
1. Launching an awareness campaign to encourage citizens to register in the National Employment Program
2. Amending the unemployment insurance draft law (78/2006) in order to increase compensation fees
3. Increasing fees associated with the Parallel Bahrainisation System and the Flexible Work Permit
4. Redesigning Tamkeen’s Training and Wage Support Program
The Minister of Finance and National Economy highlighted that the National Employment Program builds on the Kingdom’s long-standing efforts to further improve citizens’ livingstandards, in line with HM the King’s comprehensive development program.
Speaking at the event His Excellency Jameel bin Mohammed Humaidan, The Minister of Labor and Social Development highlighted that fees associated with the Parallel BahrainisationSystem will see an increase from BHD 300 to BHD 500, while the Flexible Work Permit registration fees will be increased from BHD 200 to BHD 500, with a recurring monthly payment worth BHD 30. The Minister encouraged citizens to register in the National Employment Program, while affirming that the Ministry continues to assess and monitor unemployment rates in accordance with international best practices.
His Excellency Ghanem bin Fadhel Al Buainain, The Minister of Shura Council and Representatives Council Affairs also made remarks stressing that the proposed amendment to the Unemployment Insurance draft law (78/2006) represents a new step forward in increasing job opportunities for citizens. The Minister outlined that adjustments to unemployment insurance are broken down as follows:
· An increase from BHD 150 to BHD 200 for university degree holders
· An increase from BHD 120 to BHD 150 for those without a degree
· An increase in compensation fees paid for dismissed employees reaching a maximum amount of BHD 1000 (up from BHD 500)
· Extending compensation period from 6 to 9 months
His Excellency Zayed bin Rashid Al Zayani, the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism spoke of the ongoing collaboration between the Ministry and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce to meet citizens’ interests. The Minister highlighted that the National Employment Program will facilitate new avenues for collaboration with the private sector, and emphasized that the program is centered around making citizens a preferred choice of employment in the labor market, while increasing their competitiveness and skill base.
His Excellency Ayman bin Tawfeeq Al Moayed, the Minister of Youth and Sports Affairs also remarked that, in line with the directive of HRH the Crown Prince, the Ministry will continue to empower Bahrain’s youth with the skill-set they need to compete in a diverse market. The Minister also noted that, in response to the directive of HH Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the representative of HM the King for Charity Works and Youth Affairs, Chairman of the Supreme Council for Youth and President of the Bahrain Olympic Committee, the Ministry will continue to prioritize programs and initiatives aimed at swiftly integrating Bahraini graduates into the labor market, highlighting in particular the important role the private sector plays in providing opportunities for new graduates.
His Excellency Dr Ibrahim bin Mohammed Janahi, the CEO of Bahrain’s Labor Fund (Tamkeen) highlighted that the National Employment Program will pave the way for redesigning Tamkeen’s Wage Support program within one month. The CEO outlined that under the current Wage Support Program, Tamkeen’s contribution is focused on new graduates as well as experienced employees. This includes:
· Tamkeen encourages companies to hire Bahrainis through the Wage Support Program, which contributes to the salaries of Bahrainis over the first three years of employment: 70 percent in the first year; 50 percent in the second year; and 30 percent in the third year. Tamkeen’s contribution reaches up to BHD 500 per month
· Through the Wage Support Program, Tamkeen allocates BHD 250 or 25 percent of the salary for experienced Bahraini employees in the privatesector