25,000 or 8,000 Unemployed in Bahrain: What is the Exact Number Minister Humaidan?

2019-04-15 - 4:15 am

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Bahrainis are mocking the powerless Labor Minister, Jameel Humaidan, and challenging him to disclose the real number of unemployed people in Bahrain, asking him if it is 25,000 or 8,000.

Humaidan finds himself besieged today. He wants to prove that he is worth the challenge. However, his authority was taken from him and has become at the disposal of others. Humaidan in only an image.

Mocking Humaidan, criticizing his work and challenging him is depressing. The man makes you pity. Besides the unemployment issue, the government puts him at the forefront of all its austerity projects, which he didn't even devise, or give consultations on, starting from the issue of amending the retirement law, high living allowance to seizing the money of the Unemployment Fund.

Humaidan goes to the Parliament to defend these projects and other similar projects. However, he is powerless. Now inside the ministry, he is mostly preoccupied by the Bahrainization issue, which is the hot topic of the Bahraini public.

His latest statement made it clear that all the labor market issues are out of his control.

As for the employment projects and facing the worsening unemployment crisis, he says in his statement that he will launch an integrated program to target facilities that are not committed to Bahrainization, to push them to reach the percentage of Bahrainization, but in "coordination" with the "Labor market Regulatory Authority" which completely controls this issue.

How does a minister use terms like "coordination" with an "authority" which he presides over as the chairman of its board of directors? This happens only in the case of Humaidan, who is unable to take any decision or interfere in any of the rules, laws and procedures related to the Labor Market Authority. All of the Authority's orders and plans come from an authority that is above him, including the flexible permits of illegal foreign workers, and the abolition of the Bahrainization condition rate to allow more foreign workers in return for additional fees.

In his other plans to counter unemployment, Humaidan spoke about the training project with employment guarantee, and the pay support project for females working in the part time system, but this time in coordination with the Tamkeen Fund. All of these projects, including the large-scale project to support and increase the incomes of Bahrainis, have been transferred from the ministry and assigned to Tamkeen, not only to tighten the grip over them by the high offices of government, but to also remove them from the Government's budget to that of Tamkeen's, who comes entirely from fees collected from the private sector and not the government.

The Labor minister reiterated that he seeks "coordination" to ask for aid to face the disaster that has struck the Bahraini labor market. Humaidan will coordinate with the Economic Development Board to "attract foreign investments that provide attractive and appropriate jobs for Bahrainis, and develop a mechanism to increase Bahrainis' access to the jobs it provides." He and his undersecretary Sabah Al-Dossari don't even have the authority to oblige these institutions to employ Bahrainis, even via the Bahrainization rate conditions stipulated by the government. Only the Development Council (the Crown prince's economic wing) can kindly ask, not force, the institutions to do so, as they are owners of rights and money and should not be subjected to any restrictions.

The Labor Minister is acting as if he is a head of a human rights organization, who can only urge and demand the decision-making authorities in a state to put an end to this issue.

It is odd that the Minister did not also speak about plans to train the unemployed professionally in coordination with the Bahrain Training Institute this time, which his ministry was behind its establishment and supervision since the 1990s, until the 2011 uprising, when it was moved to the Education Ministry, in the strangest and most absurd changes the government has made.

The Minister of Labor lost the presidency of the Board of Directors of Social Insurance, the Supreme Council for Vocational Training, Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance, and finally turned to an exhibition organizer, a public relations foundation that begs companies to send their job vacancies and accept the ministry's unemployed candidates to be filled by Bahrainis.

There is nothing we can challenge Humaidan with, as he remains with no real power. How many are unemployed in the field? Is it the number you said in your last statement, 25,000, who the ministry aims to employ in 2019 or is it 8,000 only; the magical number which the ministry swears remains the same every year.


Arabic Version


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