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Reluctant job-seekers shunning a world of opportunities

Vol XXVIII   NO. 114      Tuesday      12 July 2005

By Amira Al Hussaini

I have always thought that something is better than nothing ... but perhaps I was mistaken.

The hundreds of Bahraini boys and girls who are shunning jobs in the hotel sector are obviously seeing something I fail to comprehend.

For them, it is much better to sit at home, get bored, create trouble in their otherwise harmonious households and live off their parents, older brothers or old rich uncles, than wake up in the morning and go to work - a thing people the world over do without a second thought.

Those youngsters are giving up the opportunity to embark on careers which could open a whole new world for them, just because they don't want to work.

We are not talking about jobs for people with masters and PhD degrees here. I am referring to the jobs available in hotels, resorts and restaurants.

These are jobs suitable for school dropouts, who have made the wrong choices in life and who could now be rehabilitated and trained at the expense of others, to ensure that they do something useful with their lives which are going to waste anyway.

But they will not have that, for it really is a hassle to wake up at the crack of dawn and go to work for BD200, especially when you have had an easy ride through school, refused to do your homework, had total disrespect for your teachers and had zero aspirations to go to university and do something useful for yourself and society.

Statistics released by the Specific Council for Training in Hotel and Catering in yesterday's GDN show that out of the nearly BD300,000 allocated for training Bahrainis in the hotel industry last year, only BD163,000 was utilised.

To add insult to injury, in a country where the unemployment figure looms around 20,000, jobless people are actually snubbing opportunities offered to them on a silver platter.

No matter what excuse they give for their reluctance to work in hotels (low salaries, problems with transportation, working shifts, mixing with expatriates, etc), the real reason is that they don't want to work.

Jobs offered in hotels are varied, ranging from reception and office jobs to those in housekeeping and the kitchen and there really is no shame in working for a living.

I fully realise that there are miraculous employment initiatives and labour reforms in the offing, but the truth is that if those people are not ready to get out of their beds and start somewhere, all these efforts are going to waste.

Hopefully, it isn't too late and youngsters will realise that they do have a choice and that their lives and futures are really what they make of them.


I haven't been up to anything these days. More or less nothing seems important, but such is life. Not much on my mind today.
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