By Gavin Gibbon
Bahrain Chamber chairman Sameer Nass says huge challenges of labour and unregulated workers need to be tackled in region
A leading Bahraini businessman has called for uniform trade licensing in the kingdom and across the Middle East.
Sameer Nass, chairman of NASS, an engineering, construction, manufacturing, marine, trading and industrial services giant in the kingdom, told Arabian Business there were “huge challenges” in the industry relating to labour and unregulated workers.
However, he said this could be improved with the introduction of proper licensing.
“I see from my side the labour market. It’s not just a Bahraini problem, it’s a regional problem. There is no institution for trade practices,” he said.
Nass, who is also chairman of Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), revealed that discussions have taken place with the government with a view to implementing appropriate licensing.
He said: “We’re not trying to differentiate between expats and locals, what we want to do is drive quality and service higher and continuous education in each trade.
“We feel this would sort out a lot of the problems with illegal workers by making sure through public awareness that anybody who is not licensed will not give the right quality of work.
“That creates a more professional service.”
Nass also hoped, with proper certification and education, more local workers would opt to seek out a trade as a career.
Earlier this year it was announced that Bahraini parliamentarians want to ban expats from working in up to 35 different professions, likely to include areas such as education, currency exchange, accounting and marketing as part of the continued Bahrainisation programme.
“There is a mis-balance across the region between blue collar and white collar workforce. Unfortunately the local workers are 99 percent white collar workers," said Nass.