24/09/2005

Job market needs a dose of work ethics...

Vol XXVIII   NO. 188      Saturday      24 September 2005

I am delighted that someone out there has finally woken up to the fact that what our labour market seriously lacks is WORK ETHICS.

It doesn't matter how many more millions - or even billions of dinars - we pump into training and rehabilitating our 20,000 unemployed people for jobs on the market if we don't focus on infusing this into those programmes.

The Labour Ministry has said that it will spend at least BD30 million on training Bahrainis next year and an undisclosed "lesser" amount the following year.

So far so good, because if we really want to find a solution to this mounting problem, which could grow out of proportion and cause chaos overnight, we really need to spend money.

But wasn't it only in recent history that BD25m was siphoned off for what was supposed to have been the magical solution for our unemployment problems?

The deal was that the Labour Ministry would be restructured, the unemployed trained for the jobs market and we would live happily ever after.

Whatever happened to our BD25m? I know this isn't the issue and I don't want to probe too deeply. What concerns me today is how much more do we need to spend to teach people that work is an essential part of life, that people work to live and live to work and that without something meaningful to do, a person's life is worthless?

How many more strategies do we need to draw up to teach people to wake up early, show up at work on time, take fewer days off sick and spend their hours at work doing what they are supposed to be doing - working, perhaps?

It doesn't matter if it's your first job or you have a PhD in the field you are working in; it means nothing if you have been merely keeping that chair warm for 30 years; and no one cares if you are the only one in your specialisation to have ever set foot in Bahrain.

What really matters is how professional you are in doing your job; how dedicated you are in serving your community; and how much you respect yourself and your job.

Introducing work ethics into training programmes is a sound policy, which I hope would be followed through to the end.

Let's start with the work ethics of those implementing training programmes. Their mission should be to serve Bahrain and only Bahrain. There should be no hidden agendas, no favouritism and no abusing the system for personal gain!

I hope I have made myself clear. Now get back to work!

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