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New Initiative To Put 185,000 Bahrainis To Work

Bahrain has launched a new initiative aimed at reducing unemployment levels by replacing high numbers of expats with nationals. The new program aims to place 35,000 well educated Bahrainis with high skill levels in positions currently held by qualified expatriates and to train 150,000 nationals with high school degrees to take up entry level positions in the private sector. The official unemployment rate in Bahrain stands at 3.5%, although the actual figure is believed to be much higher. Tariq A. Haq, Research Economist at the International Labour Organization’s Employment Analysis and Research Unit, told The Media Line that expats played a huge part in Bahrain’s economy. “The employment creation that has generated [Bahrain’s economic] growth was predominately caused by the employment of foreign workers, whether it be lower level skills, working in the construction industry or the higher level skills, working in management in the financial services sector,” Haq said. A report published Monday by the Bahraini Labor Ministry claimed that for the first time in the country’s history, expats make up over 50% of the population.      
http://www.themedialine.org/news/news_detail.asp?NewsID=26932 [1]