This is great news. The current policy of Bahrainisation is a hindrance on efficiency and has really reduced our ability to compete with our neighbours, like Dubai. I know that several companies on the island hire a bunch of extra Bahraini secretaries (that they could do without) so that they can be seen to be complying with the Bahrainisation policies. If Bahrain ever wants to compete in the international market then Bahraini workers will have to be able to compete with expat workers on efficiency and salaries alone. I don't think labour regulations like minimum wages, or work hours are necessarily bad, so long as they are applied across the board to Bahrainis and expats alike, and efficiency is still the deciding criteria.
I was quite shocked to read in the report that a whopping 92% of the Bahraini workforce is saturated by the public sector. That is a ridiculous figure that the economy just can't support forever. The report did not say anything about when these changes would come, or what these changes would be exactly, but it is a good sign nontheless which must be encouraged.
Here is the report from the GDN:
MANAMA: The Bahrain jobs market may soon be entirely subject to the laws of supply and demand, it was revealed yesterday. The government has exhausted every possibility of creating employment for Bahrainis in the state sector, said Labour and Social Affairs Ministry Under-Secretary for Training Affairs Abdulilah Al Qassimi. But it would be counter-productive for the government to try to force the private sector to absorb large numbers of Bahraini workers, he told our sister paper Akhbar Al Khaleej.
He called for the deregulation of the jobs market so that the private sector would be free to recruit only those workers who it considered competent and productive. Mr Al Qassimi said the liberalisation of the jobs market would mean the policy of Bahrainisation would have to be reconsidered. (Continued)