Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Come on Bahrainis, Lets Take up the Job..!

Hotel industry in Bahrain is facing a serious problem; inadequate of employee. Most lodging properties in Bahrain suffer from shortage of Bahraini workers. Despite the fact that there is high demand on hiring Bahrainis, they apparently do not have interest in hotel jobs. Bahrainisation programme in private sector did not effectively increase participation of Bahrainis to work in hotel industry. Meanwhile, unemployment among Bahrainis increases every year.

The current labour market in hotel industry is dominated by expatriates and in the future, expatriates recruitment cost will increase significantly and could be even higher than recruiting Bahrainis. I guess, if the Bahrain government do not prepare Bahrainis to take up jobs in this sector, it will severe the country’s current unemployment level.

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Tourism has been booming in Bahrain since the last two decades. The government aims at taking this sector to at least 30 percent growth in the next 10 years. This tremendous increase is expected as a direct result of new developments, which are mainly directed towards bolstering the tourism infrastructure in Bahrain. Through the Economic Development Board’s new branding “Bahrain Business Friendly” and scores of ambitious efforts from the Ministry of Tourism, the sector has been setup as an economic locomotive to drive other sectors, striving to make the country the best global tourist destination.

Multi billion dollar tourism and hospitality projects have been invested in the Kingdom and thus will open employment widely. Data from Ministry of Tourism announced eighteen international hotels are under construction that will support Bahrain tourism with additional 4,500 starred rooms. These rooms will need approximately 3,600 employees, working directly for the hotel. And, by its multiplier effect, the new hotels will absorbs roughly 10,000 indirect workers from various sectors.

By means of this booming, Bahrain will have serious problem in term of supplying labour working in the industry. With current workforce condition, most hotels and lodging properties in Bahrain suffer from shortage of proper employee to run the hotel operations. The country’s hotel business has been facing difficulties in supplying skilled labours.

Many enterprises, including hotel businesses in Bahrain and GCC countries are to be hit hardly because of the expected shortage of million workers over the coming years. And moreover there is an acute shortage of hotel workers, particularly Bahrainis who have appropriate skills and experienced in hotel industry.

While lodging industry is struggling to supply proper labour in term of quantity and quality, most Bahraini do less intention to work in the industry. As a consequence, the industry employ expatriates from various neighbour countries (Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan), and mainly Asian countries such as the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Thailand.

Meanwhile, unemployment in Bahrain shows significant rate and could increase if radical labour reforms are not introduced and implemented. In the other word, if Bahrain’s labour market, particularly tourism and hotel industry is always depended on foreign worker, this will severe Bahraini’s unemployment.

The problem become more complicated since tourism is growing in almost every part of the world. In India, China and other countries in South East Asia and Asia Pacific, tourism has been growing extensively. The sector will generate employment opportunity to its nationals which will also promise better economic condition in general. This means, current hoteliers who work for hotel or hospitality sectors in Bahrain or in other countries in the region, soon or later, will be attracted to come back to their country considering better salary and compensation. If Bahrainis are not prepared to work in the industry, Bahrain’s hospitality sector will face serious problem to substitute expatriates who are no longer interested in taking career in Bahrain.

Recent situation in the country shows that government from countries such as India and the Philippines demanded better compensation package for their labour due to economic improvement. With Asian economy booming especially in India, professionals and highly skilled workers in the Gulf back home with more attractive package and most of them are not keen on working in the region. To respond this situation, countries such as India and the Philippines requested the government of Bahrain to increase minimum salary for their nationals.

It is important to understand that hotel, restaurant and hospitality industry need special skill to deliver the service. Hotel or restaurant jobs require staffs that have sense of service and are keen to serve people proudly. The customer perception of the service is always based on the performance of the employee they interact with, particularly in every time guest contact needed. Therefore, if Bahrain is not be able to supply professional workers to perform the jobs, it will effect to the level or quality of competitiveness of the industry. In other words, if Bahrain’s hotel industry fails to provide good quality services through its professional hoteliers, it is not impossible that most visitors eventually leave Bahrain due to the lack of proper services.

Bahrainisation programme as one of solutions introduced by the Government several years ago did not effectively increase participation of Bahrainis to work in hotel industry. Problems present nowadays, when there are lots of demands appeal to provide more jobs and employment for Bahrainis. Although there are massive calls for public to encourage Bahraini to work within the industry, many employers echo that Bahraini nationals are averse to making long-term commitments.

I understand there is a bunch of reasons why Bahrainis don’t work in the sector (I will share the factors on the next posting). But whatever the reasons, this year should be a start for Bahraini to think, act and take the job. Otherwise, they will be marginalized, by any mean.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Marriott Ambassadors

You know the reaason why I display these images, cause I have no idea what to post, hehehe...
Anyway, we are proud to be Marriott Ambassadors..
Mo & Sebastian

Agung & Mo