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Chan'ad Bahraini

(Scomberomorous maculatus Bahrainius)

Note: This page has moved to a new address. Please click on the following URL to get there: http://chanad.weblogs.us/index.php?s=McKinsey on labour market reforms. Sorry for the trouble.

McKinsey on labour market reforms

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Man, I can't believe that the government needed a report from bloody McKinsey & Co (which must have to cost a hefty sum) to be convinced of the things that many of us ordinary folk have been saying for years. That said, I'm not complaining, because its better late than never. At long last the government is now recognizing the huge flaws in its Bahrainization policy of the past 8 years.

From today's GDN

Wake-up call on wages

A wake-up call went out yesterday to Bahrain businesses which survive on the back of cheap expatriate labour. The low-wage culture must go if Bahrain is to meet soaring demand for jobs, say experts.

Bahrain must level the labour playing field and create a skilled national workforce, with well-paid jobs that will attract Bahrainis, says a team probing potential labour and economic reforms.

The low-wage private sector business structure cannot produce jobs for the 100,000 Bahrainis entering the labour market over the next 10 years, said McKinsey & Company Middle East managing partner Kito de Boer.

The company has been studying potential labour market reforms in conjunction with the Economic Development Board, chaired by Crown Prince and BDF Commander-in-Chief Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry and the Interior Ministry.

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4 Responses to 'McKinsey on labour market reforms'

Anonymous Anonymous says:

One step in the right direction. The other, and harder issue to tackle is the "work ethic" of many Bahrainis.    

Blogger Chanad says:

Definitely. Changing work ethics, and the "wasta culture" are far more difficult than changing the labour market regime. However my hope is that once Bahrainis realize that they should not expect the state to nanny them, and that they must compete with expats in productivity, then this may at least provoke some changes in work ethics. I hope it works, and that the government is serious this time.    

Blogger Scorpio says:

The message of the McKinsey report was that Bahrain’s going to have to scrap its low wage culture if its going to find jobs for the growing numbers of school leavers.

Too right - time for Bahrainis to bite the bullet and not expect prices of services at a level of India +20%. As for the local fat cats hoping to keep production costs down by treating Indian construction workers and Indonesian domestics like animals – tough. I hope you’re kicked out of business.

Everyone else will have to of course pay more for services or do it themselves – but it might do people good to get out and clean their own car for a change.    

Anonymous Anonymous says:
9/22/2004 10:48:00 pm

I am all for fair wages for Bahrainis. The biggest underlying problem that MUST be dealt with is the lack of work ethic among the employable in Bahrain. Why do or should I employ someone who wants a free ride to a paycheck? Why should I invest the time and money into training someone who will not work or worse jump ship for a few extra BD IF that? The problem is at least twofold. Wages MUST be raised BUT personal responsability must also be engaged. You can do what you want on paper but if the core values of a work ethic aren't there then the pot will only be stirred and will never boil.    

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