The Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) hosted members of the Joint Omanisation Committee from the Sales and Distribution Sector during the last day of its Ramadan Evening Seminar. Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Bakri, Minister of Manpower, was the patron for the evening. A working paper titled \'Employment of National Manpower: Outcomes and Recommendations\' was presented by the experts at the seminar. Mohammed bin Abdul Hussain Al Lawati, Head of the Joint Omanisation Committee of the Sales and Distribution Sector, said the working paper included a number of recommendations and proposals of a study conducted by an international company on the labour market. He said the Committee seeks to provide 11,000 additional jobs in the sales and retail sector by 2015 to increase the number of Omanis working in the sector to 35,730. This would increase the rate of Omanisation to 45 per cent in the sector. Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Bakri, Minister of Manpower, said that monitoring the labour market was not an easy job because the private sector operates on a completely differently work culture as compared to the public sector. He pointed out that the ministry deals with more than 134,000 establishments that employ 1,488,000 labourers, including 217,000 Omanis and 1,271,000 expatriates. The minister added that there were two groups of companies: the first group, termed first class number, 15,000 companies that employ 600,000 expatriates and 200,000 Omanis. The second group comprising the SMEs or 4th, 3rd and 2nd class companies — totalling about 119,000 enterprises, that collectively employ 610,000 expatriates and only 10,000 Omanis. He said the figure provided by the Ministry of Manpower was different from the one provided by the Public Authority for Social Insurance (PASI). This was due to the employment turnover, an incomplete electronic linkage system and the fact that some companies were not covered by the PASI. The Supreme Council for Planning (SCP) and the National Centre for Statistic and Information (NCSI) were currently working on this issue. As for training, Sheikh Al Bakri pointed out that training was the passport to the labour market, even for the university graduates. He added that a remarkable expansion was taking place in the field of technical education and vocational training system. \"There are five main majors for study that provide more than 35 sub-specialisations and more than 23 specialisations in the vocational training domain. These were all designed to meet the needs of the private sector,\" he added.