The Ministry of Labour has launched the Graduate Employment Project (GEP) wage increase project with Tamkeen – an organisation that helps empower Bahrainis to be employees of choice. Bahrain’s Minister for Labour Jameel bin Mohammed Ali Al Humaidan, addressing a media gathering on Tuesday, said that the raising of salaries would enhance the standard of living for the citizens. He added that the graduates who enter the labour market and those who are already there will benefit from this wage increase. The increase in salary was for those who worked in the private sector and he urged the employers to help the government because with this increase the output quality.A wage increase to a decent level, said the minister, was the way forward to increasing production. It would be a ‘win-win’ for all he said. The minister said that the project is part of the phased stragety within the Ministry of Labour to improve the wages of the graduate employees in Bahrain. He also called for conducting training programmes to uplift the quality of work. According to Al Hummaidan, there are 2203 graduates working in the private sector. He said that graduates earning BD350 and more per month numbered 400. The project would ensure that these employees would be provided with support to ensure that graduates received a minimum salary of BD400. This support, he said was for two years. However, by the end of the second year the government support would be reduced by 25 per cent and it would be on the employer to ensure the payment. The details of this category of employees, the minister said, would be transferred to the Labour Fund or Tamkeen – who would be responsible for the BD50 increase. The next category was those who earned between BD350 and BD250 and they numbered 1,450, said the minister. The salaries of this class would be raised to BD350 per month, he added. Gradually they would be uplifted through the various training programmes to ensure that these graduates also earned BD400. Those who earned BD250 a month was 353, said the minister. He said this was the least paid in the group. He said that a series of measures would be undertaken to enhance their wages and lift it to BD350 as well. The government was concerned about it and the reasons for such low pay were being looked into, he added. He urged the private sector to spare no effort in providing training to ensure that the minimum wage of a Bahraini graduate was BD400. The cabinet, he said, had already approved this scheme on September 11 and an amount of six million dinars was set apart for funding the increase. The conference was also attended by the Deputy Minister for Labour, Sabah Salem Al Dossari, Assistant Undersecretary for Training Affairs Ahmed Reza Hubail and Assistant Undersecretary for Labour Dr Mohammed Ali Al Ansari, in addition to the officials of the ministry.