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The Labour Fund (Tamkeen) held a press conference to showcase the key achievements from the previous year and the strategic priorities for 2023, in alignment with Tamkeen’s commitment to open and transparent communication with the labor market regarding future plans.

During the conference, Tamkeen confirmed its commitment to the main objectives that serve its main mandate of supporting the growth and development of the national economy by enabling the private sector to be the key engine of economic development and empowering Bahraini talent with the skills required to become the first choice of employment in the labor market.

Tamkeen’s objectives include developing the national economy and the private sector, enhancing the productivity and competitiveness of the national workforce, creating quality job opportunities for Bahrainis, and contributing to increasing the economic participation of Bahraini women. Focusing on these objectives enhanced development and growth in the private sector through increasing the number of enterprises in the market and the number of Bahrainis employed in the private sector.

Commenting on Tamkeen’s performance during the past year, Ms. Maha Mofeez, Chief Executive of the Labour Fund (Tamkeen) stated: “we operate as part of a comprehensive ecosystem that works to achieve national goals in alignment with the economic recovery priorities as directed by the esteemed government under the wise leadership of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince and Prime Minister. We are committed to implementing the visions and aspirations of the government program which are centered on the Bahraini individual, thus contributing to overall economic development.

Therefore, last year we worked on implementing a comprehensive organization-wide transformation plan that included setting key performance indicators and designing new programs while also restructuring the support in each program. As part of the transformation, we also proactively identified high potential economic opportunities and focused on driving productivity in projects that carried greater economic impact”

For his part, Mr. Qusay Alarayedh, Chief Growth Officer at Tamkeen, highlighted the key achievements from the previous year, he stated: “Tamkeen supported 4.1K enterprises of all sizes across various sectors through all the programs, whereby 57% of enterprises supported were new enterprises, 48% of enterprises supported were SMEs, and 71% of enterprises were supported for training and employment of Bahrainis.”

He added: “We adopted a proactive approach to attract applications from high potential businesses which led to an increase of 21% in high value jobs in comparison to the year before. This included supporting over 10K job opportunities and over 8.4K training opportunities for Bahrainis to increase their participation in the labor market, and an increase of 29% in professional certification beneficiaries in comparison to the previous year. Furthermore, the percentage of women who received employment support increased to 56% of all those supported, with the majority of them being university degree holders aged between 24 and 35. As for youth, Bahrainis aged 18 to 35 benefited the most from employment programs which facilitated their entry to the labor market”

It is worth mentioning that the Labour Fund (Tamkeen) embarked on its fifth strategic cycle (2021-2025) in 2021 which is based on four key pillars aligned with the requirements of the economy at the time and the rapidly changing needs of the post-covid labor market. The pillars focus on increasing economic impact by aligning Tamkeen’s support with specific economic outcomes, prioritizing productivity by incentivizing high potential sectors and encouraging enterprises to develop their business models and transform digitally. Tamkeen also proactively focused on projects that are set to drive greater economic impact to ensure the highest levels of efficiency and impact in driving the objectives, accelerating human capital development, and meeting the labor market requirements by adopting a modern approach to enhance the inclusion and economic participation of Bahrainis.

Ms. Alya Aaali, Executive Director of Strategy and Transformation at Tamkeen stated: “In alignment with the current strategic cycle, Tamkeen will continue its support for the purpose of creating job opportunities for Bahrainis, enhancing flexibility in work, and encouraging enterprises to adopt technology that can diversify and enhance the employment opportunities they offer, as well as increasing economic participation through employment and entrepreneurship. We will also continue to focus on increasing the numbers and types of new innovative enterprises. Additionally, our support for the purpose of developing the private sector will continue by enabling enterprises to pursue innovative solutions, improving financing opportunities, and providing comprehensive financial and advisory support.”

In light of the achievements realized in 2022, Tamkeen held consultation sessions with over 100 enterprises of different sizes and from various sectors to learn about their future plans and encourage them to pursue more growth and expansion through optimal utilization of resources. Tamkeen will continue to drive economic impact by focusing on four key priorities in 2023 to develop the labor market and the private sector, in alignment with the government program and the recommendations of the economic recovery plan, the key focus areas are:

  1. Facilitating increased economic participation of Bahrainis 

In line with one of Tamkeen’s key mandates of enhancing the competitiveness of Bahrainis to enable them to become the first choice of employment, the 2023 strategy focuses on increasing the economic participation of Bahrainis in the labor market through providing access to job opportunities and supporting entrepreneurship and freelance work, in addition to proactively engaging the private sector in new partnerships to facilitate the creation of medium and high value jobs for the national workforce. Furthermore, there will be a focus on supporting flexibility in the workplace such as part-time employment and remote work, especially for women, to ensure career growth for Bahrainis and address the rapidly changing market requirements.

  1. Providing training that is aligned with the labor market needs of new and emerging skills 

Building on the key performance indicators measured since the beginning of 2022 to report on the organizational performance and economic impact, Tamkeen plans to continue enhancing its performance in 2023 through supporting training for Bahrainis to increase their economic participation, focusing on high quality and specialized training in emerging and high potential skills in response to the labor market requirements and for the purpose of driving greater economic impact. That will be facilitated by developing a roadmap of programs and partnerships as well as prioritizing outcome-based training that leads to career placement and progression.

  1. Supporting enterprise development 

To achieve one of its main objectives which is driving economic growth in the Kingdom, Tamkeen will continue its support for enterprises of all sizes and across all economic sectors which drive greater economic impact and showcase high productivity levels, due to their potential for growth and quality job creation. Tamkeen will also support the growth of enterprises by facilitating access to enhanced financing solutions specially for SMEs through its active partnerships with several local banks, which will enable enterprises to expand and reach regional and global markets. Tamkeen will also support existing enterprises to implement new business models and benefit from tech solutions that can drive productivity and enable them to grow and expand. Furthermore, Tamkeen will support startups with a focus on technology-based businesses that have innovative and disruptive business models.

  1. Supporting ecosystem development 

The national economic performance of the last year witnessed recovery that was not restricted to the effects of the global pandemic only, but also reflected on various other sectors due to the current increase in oil prices, a conducive business environment, and favorable government policies that drive growth and quality job creation. In the upcoming period, the focus will be on enriching the entrepreneurship ecosystem by prioritizing high potential and innovative businesses that are scalable both locally and internationally, thus creating a positive ripple effect across the national economy and contributing to more quality and sustainable job opportunities for the national workforce.