Bahrain’s government has commissioned the ARA Retail Institute to conduct training and consulting to more than 600 trainees.

ARA Retail Institute director Garry Terrill said the initiative, in partnership with the Bahrain Institute of Hospitality and Retail (BIHR), is a response to rapid development in the region creating a mass of vacancies in Bahrain’s booming retail sector.

“Bahraini businesses have resorted to employing a large number of expatriates due the shortage of skilled Bahrain nationals,” said Terrill.

“To address the issue, Bahrain’s government appointed the BIHR to upskill Bahrain nationals through training for employment programs in various sectors of its economy under its Labour Fund.

Terrill confirmed there will be three programs, which will be overseen by an Australian training consultant, with the last one concluding in 2009.

ARA executive director Richard Evans said Bahrain’s booming economy will only lead to more opportunities.

“Bahrain’s economy is booming. Developments in the pipeline are expected to create thousands of new vacancies and we anticipate this will lead to further ventures with our friends in the Middle East down the track,” he said.