Graduate recruitment in Oman's private construction industry

Al-nabhani, S 2012, Graduate recruitment in Oman's private construction industry , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Traditionally, the Sultanate of Oman has relied heavily on expatriate labour to build its economy, but with the expansion of the Higher Education (HE) sector and increasing numbers of Omani nationals graduating from HE, there has been a call for the Omanisation of labour, both to find jobs for young educated Omanis, and to place the development of the Sultanate in the hands of its citizens rather than in expatriate workers. Additionally, with the expansion of the private sector, there is a need for Omani graduates to accept work in that sector, since the public sector that has traditionally provided employment for educated Omanis is unable to absorb the vastly increasing numbers of HE graduates. Unfortunately, however, in some sectors of the economy there is a mismatch between university output and employer needs, and that tension is particularly severe in the construction sector. Here, it can be seen that some employers are unwilling to hire Omani graduates, preferring to appoint expatriates, and that some Omani graduates are unwilling to accept jobs in that sector. Essentially, each party believes the other has expectations that are too high. The outcome is that many Omani graduates prefer to remain unemployed rather than work in the construction industry, with the consequence that the construction sector fails to achieve Omanisation targets. This study examines the prevailing attitudes among graduates employed within the construction industry, construction graduates who are employed outside the construction industry, construction graduates who prefer to remain unemployed, and Human Resources managers from eight construction companies. Additionally, it investigates the governmental perspective by involving members of the Ministry of Manpower which is responsible for the placement of HE graduates. A qualitative approach in which interviews with a sample of individuals from each of the categories mentioned is adopted. The study finds that the full range of skills demanded by construction employers, and especially positive work orientations, are lacking among Omani graduates, and that expatriates are preferred because of their greater experience and all-round skill. It also finds that deeply-rooted cultural attitudes are influential in causing a tension between Omani graduates, especially females, and the construction industry. In making its recommendations, the study suggests that the substantial similarities between Oman and the other Gulf countries, offer strong potential for generalisation of the findings to that wider GCC population.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Redfern, D (Supervisor) and Sharifi, S (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School
Funders: Ministry of Higher Education in Oman
Depositing User: Institutional Repository
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2021 14:16
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2022 11:22

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