MORE than 100,000 Bahrainis work in the private sector in around 74,000 enterprises, with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) representing 98 per cent of the total, it has been revealed.

Last year alone 11,246 Bahrainis took up placements in the private sector as labour fund Tamkeen surpassed its target of 10,000 for a second consecutive year and its 2024 annual report reflected a year-on-year growth of 13pc.

The average wage earned by enterprising young Bahrainis was BD1,092 a month, with the overall average of all new employment applications reaching an earnings total of BD444.

Out of those supported for employment by Tamkeen in 2023, 44pc were women, of which 55pc of them held a bachelor’s degree. Around 6,200 Bahrainis received training in Tamkeen-supported programmes last year, with 65pc of them being women.

On-the-job-training programmes, in partnership with the Labour Ministry, also assisted more than 1,200 jobseekers.

The 2024 annual report has been published as a supplement with the latest edition of the Official Gazette.

In the third quarter of 2023, Bahrain’s private sector demonstrated a 2pc YoY increase in the total number of employees reaching 567,411 – an upward trend sustained since the second quarter of 2020.

Notably female employment in the private sector increased by 2.5pc YoY compared to the 1.5pc YoY increase in male employment.

The total number of registered Bahraini private sector employees surpassed 100,000 for the first time, reaching 101,321 in the third quarter of last year.

The average wages of Bahrainis in the private sector increased by 4pc YoY as the manufacturing sector recorded the highest wage growth, followed by mining and quarrying, and the accommodation and food services sectors.

The financial and insurance sector constitutes 18pc of Bahrain’s real gross domestic product and the manufacturing sector accounted for 14pc in the third quarter of last year. These sectors were also acknowledged for having the highest levels of productivity along with the highest average wages for Bahrainis in the second quarter of 2023.

In the report, Tamkeen pointed out that in 2023 more than 12,300 employment opportunities for Bahrainis were created, more than 10,700 training opportunities and more than 5,100 enterprises were supported through its programmes.

The employment support had led to 33pc YoY growth in quality jobs, 91pc in employment opportunities for young Bahrainis aged between 18 and 35, and 67pc enterprise support applications directed towards employment.


Also in career development, a 70pc growth was recorded in those achieving professional certificates and 59pc of those Bahrainis supported for professional training were women.

The enterprise support showed that 44pc were SMEs and 52pc financial support applications came from small and medium sized businesses.

Meanwhile, Tamkeen revealed that a substantial majority of enterprises opting for Tamkeen’s support are specifically selecting employment support programmes making up 67pc of all enterprise support applications.

This milestone sets a new record high reflecting a notable YoY increase of 144pc, highlighting the growing preference for employment-focused programmes.

Similar to 2022, SMEs continue to constitute the largest segment for employment support accounting for 58pc of employment applications.

“This trend demonstrates a positive shift in labour market dynamics and could serve as testament to the confidence placed in the skillsets of Bahrainis in the private sector,” said the report.

The number of active commercial registrations (CRs) in Bahrain exhibited a 3pc year on year growth.

In the report, Tamkeen also highlighted that most new business activities focused on trade, health and hotels collectively, constituting 44pc of new CR entrants.

Education, human health and social work activities were the fastest growing non-oil sectors on a YoY basis growing by 24pc and 19pc respectively.

Also highlighted, Tamkeen said the wage increment programme witnessed experienced Bahraini employees receiving an average monthly wage increase of BD178 within the sales/trade activities, manufacturing, transport and storage sectors.

Since its launch, the increment programme witnessed 260 approved applications from enterprises.

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