The Oman government intends to establish two new major specialized institutes in order to meet the growing need for 20 000 to 30 000 additional oil and gas industry professionals within the next 10 years.
Said Al Aufi, undersecretary at the Ministry of Oil and Gas, commented: “Our intention is to source as many [employees] as possible from within the country. Only when there is a serious shortage, at a time when the work needs to be done, we look for expatriates”.
The undersecretary explained that demand for skilled workers in the oil and gas industry is growing for two main reasons: availability of local talents for jobs occupied by foreigners and additional projects that are coming up in the next ten years. A series of enhanced oil recovery projects are currently in various stages of implementation by Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), and the Khazzan tight gas field development in north-central Oman will boost demand for workers.
The first proposed technical training institute will be located in Adam, south of Muscat, and will offer a three year diploma programme for school leavers in technical fields required by the industry, including electrical, mechanical and instrumentation.
“The Adam institute will be a joint venture between Petrofac and Oman Oil Company. It will be designed to take 500 students a year. The programme is for school leavers, training them for three years to join the work force. At the time of training, there will be a lot of discussion between the institute, companies and students to ensure that jobs are available when they complete the programme”, Al Aufi said.
The second institute is to be based in Muscat for conducting Bachelors’ degree programmes in petroleum engineering, chemical engineering and mechanical engineering. This will have the capacity to take 100 students each year.
Plans to set up the two institutes are part of a wider in-country-value (ICV) initiative. The first part of this scheme will involve the review and assessment of the capabilities of existing institutes.
Edited from various sources by Emma McAleavey.
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