FOUR new strategic priorities targeting 50,000 Bahrainis have been set under Tamkeen’s 2024 annual plan.The largest cut – 76 per cent – of the labour fund’s main budget will go towards supporting the employment and career progression of Bahrainis in the private sector, with 24pc set towards supporting new enterprises to start up and grow.

The annual plan, launched in a supplement issued with the latest edition of the Official Gazette, remains in line with royal directives from His Majesty King Hamad to continue creating quality opportunities for Bahrainis and integrating them into the labour market.

The priorities focus on new market entrants, supporting career development and enhancing the robust private sector’s competitiveness.The first priority to enable increased economic participation of Bahrainis and establish new employment channels will be to...*Expand the support for the new Bahraini market entrants and current labour market participants across various job levels and career stages.*Support the establishment of new channels in collaboration with the private sector and the Labour Ministry.*Support the increased flexibility in the workplace, such as part-time employment and remote work, especially for women.*Provide incentives to increase economic participation, especially for women.The second priority will be to expand support for career progression through increasing wages and upskilling and reskilling with aims to...*Focus on career progression of Bahrainis in the private sector especially those earning monthly wages below BD1,500.

*Expand support for skills-oriented training programmes, particularly in technical and specialised fields, and encourage active participation in these opportunities. *Development and implement a comprehensive plan for fostering the development of new and emerging skills.*Prioritise outcome-based training (job placement, new skills and career progression) in different sectors.The third priority will be to support the development of enterprises in the private sector to increase Bahrainis’ employment rates, featuring plans to...*Review enterprise development programmes and enhance their effectiveness in increasing the productivity of the public sector to create quality job opportunities for Bahrainis and achieve financial stability.*Support enterprises that have a high economic impact due to their higher productivity, enabling them to grow and create quality jobs for Bahrainis.*Support technological development and digital transformation that drive productivity.

*Support organisations with innovative business models.*Proactively target technology-based start-ups.*Provide incentives for enterprises that support local employment. *Contribute to the development and implementation of a national plan for the digital transformation of the private sector.The fourth priority will be to support the growth of the ecosystem surrounding the labour market and private sector with a clear aim to...*Prioritise support for initiatives that maximise Tamkeen’s impact in the labour market and private sector through supporting the entrepreneurship ecosystems, studying and identifying market-relevant skills, as well as establishing national occupational standards among other initiatives.As reported in the GDN, last year His Majesty King Hamad issued a royal decree to support the work of Tamkeen, financing part of the programmes to integrate Bahrainis into the labour market through employment, training and wage support programmes by BD200 million from the Unemployment Fund.

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