News

News: After Emarat, Enoc also cuts diesel price  |         News: Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade nears Dh1 trillion in first 9 months  |         News: UAE jumps 14 places in global ICD Development Index  |         News: Dubai soars 11.5 percent as it leads Gulf rebound  |         News: Dubai stocks jump over 9.8% as rally continues  |         News: Why New Year’s Eve fireworks is top draw for Dubai expats  |         News: Global Village visit just got easier  |         News: Emirates To Begin Third Daily Service To Birmingham  |         News: Opec to wait for market to stabilise  |         News: Building A Luxury Brand Image In A Digital World  |         News: Much-awaited free voice calls on BBM for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android phones  |         News: Dubai Developer Omniyat Says 81% Of Units Sold Off In New ANWA Project  |         News: Global village: Around the world in a day  |         News: RTA to auction number plates on Dec.27th  |         News: Show me the money: LuLu CEO Adeeb Ahamed  |         News: Sheikh Mohammed Launches New Strategy, Dubai Plan 2021  |         News: Dubai rated among top destinations for holiday season  |         News: Over 80,000 People To Travel On 240 Emirates Flights On Dec 19  |         News: Food trucks, DIY BBQ and a gold bar cake  |         News: Dubai Int'l arrivals to rise by 36% by 2016 after runways upgrade  |         News: Dubai Duty Free extends 25% pre-Christmas sale  |         News: Is E-Commerce The Best Bet For Middle East Start-Ups?  |         News: REVEALED: Top 10 Companies in UAE In 2014  |         News: DIFF’s 11th edition opens tomorrow with a moving biopic  |         News: UAE internet advertising set for world’s fastest growth  |         News: Smartphone generation: MENA's overnight mobile internet revolution  |         News: ‘Ultimate Airport Dubai’ returns for Season 2  |         News: Google launches Street View in Dubai  |         News: Dubai's DWC inks $40m deal for aircraft painting facility  |         News: Milestone for UAE space agency  |         News: UAE's money exchange industry faces shake-up as costs rise  |         News: Interview with Majed Al Suwaidi  |         News: Dubai Tram: Game Changer?  |         News: Interview: Jumeirah on new lifestyle brand Venu  |         News: Emirates targets US and Italy routes with quick Airbus A380 rollouts  |         News: UAE luxury yacht market remains buoyant  |         News: Dubai Int'l passenger traffic grows by 5.7% in October  |         News: Is business aviation on the rise?  |         News: UAE archives go online with Google  |         News: 2015 will be a ‘Year of Innovation’  |         News: Dubai-Based App Travall To Launch Video Reviews Of Hotels, F&B Outlets  |         News: MasterCard Launches New Digital Payment System, MasterPass In UAE  |         News: UAE green growth strategy to create 160,000 jobs, save billions  |         News: Dubai Expo 2020: First milestone in six-year journey  |         News: BMW intent on staying number one in the Middle East  |         News: Dubai taxi flagdown rates revised from December 1  |         News: Taxi rates to rise in Dubai from December 1  |         News: Du signs deal with Travelling Connect for inbound roamers  |         News: GCC Petrochemical Revenues Reach $89.4bn In 2013  |         News: Dubai to attract over 381,000 cruise passengers this season  |         News: Revealed: The world’s 100 Most Powerful Arabs  |         News: Battle is on for hearts and minds of UAE employees  |         News: Emirates Targets 8-10% Profit Growth On New Aircraft, Routes  |         News: Astellas aims to introduce cancer medicines in UAE  |         News: Dubai all set to host parachuting championships  |         News: Emirates targets at least 8-10% profit growth on new aircraft, routes  |         News: Tried & Tested: First review of the Dubai Tram  |         News: Dubai ranked world's #1 city to live and work in  |         News: Etisalat aims to be first in the Middle East to deploy 5G technology  |         News: Nakheel to build $40m boardwalk along Palm Jumeirah breakwater  |         News: Mubadala-owned software services provider Injazat to open Qatar office  |         News: Spanish Firm Appointed To Operate Hollywood, Bollywood Theme Parks In Dubai  |         News: Gold will always shine  |         News: Souq.com Plots MENA Black Friday Sales Weekend  |         News: UAE boat builder Al Marakeb aims to make waves in unmanned vessels  |         News: Dubai World close to agreeing deal to extend $10.5bn debt settlement  |         News: Hard Rock Hotel To Open In Dubai Marina  |         News: OPEC says oil price to rebound by Q2 next year  |         News: UAE credit bureau starts retail ops, to cover companies next year - CEO  |         News: Dubai's DP World to buy Jebel Ali Free Zone owner for $2.6bn  |         News: Dubai needs to invest $2bn building 51 new schools by 2020, says report  |         News: Dubai Tram essential guide  |         News: Get in the Ring for investment opportunity  |         News: Accor To Double ME Inventory, Invest €225 Million In Digital  |         News: Oil companies look to Emirati workers amid sector-wide skills crunch  |         News: The bravest thing Branson could do right now is hang up his space helmet  |         News: Meet the man who created YouTube but what did Chad Hurley do next?  |         News: Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed establishes new award for world peace  |         News: UAE Industrial momentum  |         News: UAE economic recovery at fast pace: IMF  |         News: Dubai repays $1.93bn debts taken out before crisis  |         News: Emirates Airline looks to free Wi-Fi on entire fleet  |         News: UAE’s Etisalat Q3 Net Profit Rises 22%  |         News: Gold and silver extend losses, struggle near 4-yr lows  |         News: Dubai Tram traffic rules, fines: What you must know  |         News: How To Rule The World Like… Elon Musk  |         News: Dubai firms urged to list locally to compete globally  |         News: Emirates NBD lists first NZ currency bond on Dubai bourse  |         

News

Oil companies look to Emirati workers amid sector-wide skills crunch

Oil firms are looking to bridge the skills gap in the industry while increasing the local workforce.

The oil and gas industry has suffered from skill shortages for more than two decades, but companies operating in the UAE find it even harder to entice nationals to pursue a career in hydrocarbons.

“UAE nationals are a smaller population with the economy growing in different sectors, creating more opportunities and competition,” said AbdulKarim Abdulla Al Mazmi, the general manager and chief representative for BP UAE.

To better understand how to tackle this problem, BP’s upstream business in the Middle East region had Oxford Strategic Consulting (OSC) conduct research on attracting Emiratis and Omanis to the sector, interviewing more than 500 people from these countries.

The British/GCC consultancy, specialised in building human capital, found that the engineering field garnered one of the top interests among high school students.

Nearly 34 per cent of them were interested in studying engineering; however, that number dropped to 11 per cent among university students. “The challenge is finding the right Emirati with the right skills,” Mr Al Mazmi said.

OSC suggests that oil and gas companies sponsor science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stems) tutoring centres in UAE high schools. These academic hubs would demonstrate the firm’s commitment to developing the skills that are most vital to the sector.

“This type of initiative would be a win/win for both Emirati students and oil and gas companies,” the consultancy’s public relations head and senior analyst Robert Mogielnicki said.

BP looked further to dispel some of the industry myths by running a number of “Discovery Days”, allowing graduates to visit the company’s worksites and offices to see first-hand what it is like to work in the sector.

The OSC chairman, William Scott-Jackson, said that Emiratis prefer to join companies that were personally recommended.

“We recommend extending the company’s network by using a highly tailored version of executive search as the main recruitment process,” he added. BP financed innvoation and entrepreneurship programmes at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology.

Many oil companies are running fast-track graduate programmes similar to BP’s three-year Graduate Challenge Programme. The initiatve focuses on early development for technical and professional careers.

Training graduates in the field does not mean that the students will go to the company that had a hand in the training. However, that does not deter BP. “You will not retain everyone that you train, but we see them as our ambassadors because we invested in them,” Mr Al Mazmi said.

The oil major is looking to increase its national participation within the company, currently totalling around 70 per cent of the workforce in Oman and 18 per cent in the UAE. “We are committed to nationalisation – the priority is to look for an Emirati first,” he said.


LeAnne Graves
November 8, 2014 Updated: November 8, 2014 08:03 PM
The National