Sultan Qaboos’ will leaves money for major youth employment training

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who died earlier this month, left instructions to fund training programmes for 150,000 students to help them land jobs.

The official Oman News Agency (ONA) said on Wednesday that the training would be organised under the National Youth Program for skills development.

“The programme seeks to prepare young adults with the attitudes, skills and knowledge needed to deal with different life situations, based on merging modern concepts with the digital educational content in an entertaining and inspiring manner,” ONA said.

The training, to be held over the next five years, aims to equip students with “the right attitudes, skills and knowledge to be successful in the future world of work and the fourth industrial revolution.”

While the report didn’t disclose the amount of money left by the late Sultan Qaboos, the training experts estimated it would cost around 6.5 million rials (Dh 62 million).

“It a very big budget,” a training expert, who asked not to be identified, told The National.

The expert said the programme will be implemented at different stages to secondary school students in grade 10 and 11 selected from different schools in Oman.

Sheikh , Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, meets with Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq in the Omani capital of Muscat. Ministry of Presidential Affairs

Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed meets with Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq in the Omani capital Muscat. Twitter. Oman News Agency via AP

Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, meets with Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq in Muscat. MBZ/Twitter

The prayer over the coffin of Sultan Qaboos. AFP / Oman TV

Oman's newly sworn-in Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said carries the coffin of his cousin, the late Sultan Qaboos, during the funeral in Muscat, Oman. Reuters

Omanis bid farewell to their leader during the funeral of Sultan Qaboos. AFP / Oman TV

Members of the Omani military carry the coffin of Sultan Qaboos. AFP

Omanis take part in the funeral of Sultan Qaboos at the Grand Mosque in the capital Muscat. AFP

The coffin of Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said is carried to a mosque through the crowd in Muscat, Oman. Oman TV via AP

People attend the funeral of Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said at Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat. Oman TV via AP

Oman's newly sworn-in Sultan Haitham bin Tariq arrives to the Grand Mosque in the capital Muscat to take part in the funeral of Sultan Qaboos. AFP / Oman TV

A motorcade carries the body of Sultan Qaboos bin Said in Muscat. Oman TV via AP

A motorcade carries the body of Sultan Qaboos bin Said in Muscat. Oman TV via AP

Omanis gather in front of the Sultan Qaboos Mosque to perform the funeral prayer for the country's ruler Sultan Qaboos bin Said in Muscat, Oman. AFP

Omanis gather to enter the Sultan Qaboos Mosque to perform the funeral prayer. AFP

Omanis gather to enter the Sultan Qaboos Mosque to perform the funeral prayer. AFP

Omanis gather to enter the Sultan Qaboos Mosque to perform the funeral prayer. AFP

Omanis walk towards the Sultan Qaboos Mosque to perform the funeral prayer. AFP

The Omani flag is seen at half-mast in the capital Muscat. AFP

The Diwan Royal Court, the former Sultan’s private office, still looks after his philanthropic donations to various charitable programmes.

The final act of generosity is not out of charter for the late sultan.

In 2013, he personally funded the building 230 million rials (Dh 2.26 billion) construction of 2,000 houses for low-income Omanis in different parts of the country.

Recruitment experts said the objective of the new money was to prepare school students for employment and to be able to take the place of expatriates currently employed in the sultanate.

“Many companies still prefer to employ expatriates because they say new Omani graduates lack the essential soft skills like communication, critical thinking and expressive skills. The training will help young graduates with soft skills to secure jobs and replace foreign workers,” Hajer Al Khanjari, a job consultant working for Capital Investments Company, said.

Latest official statistics show over 40,000 Omanis were looking for jobs in 2019, about 8 per cent more than the previous year.

Some 2 million expatriates work in the country’s private sector, making up nearly 70 per cent of the total workforce in the country.

Updated: January 22, 2020 07:17 PM

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