Oman has announced plans to suspend the recruitment of foreign workers in two sectors for six months from next month.
The country’s Ministry of Manpower said in a statement cited by Oman News Agency that it has decided not to allow small construction and cleaning companies to recruit expatriates until April next year at the earliest.
The decision to suspend recruitment of foreign labour in these two sectors stems from the labour market regulation and review of the actual needs of the labour force in different activities, the statement said.
The ministry has been relentlessly working to root out illegal workers so that more job opportunities can be created for the national workforce.
Around 1.3 million or 39 percent of the population of about 3.3 million are foreigners, most of them workers brought in to do skilled or strenuous jobs in the oil, construction and services industries, according to official data last year. Most are from south or southeast Asia.