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Downstream executives to discuss workforce demands

Published by , Senior Editor
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Ahead of the Downstream 2019 conference (taking place from 11 – 12 June 2019 in Houston, Texas, US), more than 80% of project, site and maintenance executives researched by Petrochemical Update cited ‘resourcing’ as their most immediate challenge when running capital projects, site operations and maintenance, it is clear that more attention needs to be given to the problem than ever before.

For the industry to act, it will be critical to align key definitions and best practice in learning and development, talent acquisition and future skills sustainability.

As such, Petrochemical Update has decided to make the critical issue of ‘workforce development’ a cornerstone not only of the Downstream 2019 program, but also central to the work of the full conference advisory board.

This group of business leaders from across the spectrum of capital projects, reliability, maintenance and process engineering will be at an invite-only meeting in Houston, Texas, US on November 12 2018 to reflect on the challenge and offer invaluable peer insights with a view to overcoming this major challenge.

A select group of 50 executives will join Petrochemical Update for the afternoon, from companies including Audobon, Bechtel, Chevron, Covestro, Dow Chemical, Dow DuPont, Fluor, Freeport LNG, INEOS, Jacobs Kiewit, LyondellBasell, Sandpiper Chemicals, and Shell New Eagles.

In a presentation to the Advisory Board, Peter Beard (SVP Workforce Development, Greater Houston Partnership) will explore the critical resource needs in the petrochemicals industry to better measure workforce availability stresses over the next five years. Moreover, he will discuss what needs to be done to overcome corporate barriers and respond to the urgency of the gap between resource need and projected capacity.

Attendees will then join roundtable sessions that will first agree on a definition of the ‘workforce equation’. Does every company treat each issue the same? Where are the gaps? Each table will share best practice on one of the key areas (talent acquisition, learning and development and future skills needs) and one success story (how are we meeting the challenge now? Technology, modularisation/prefab, training, etc). Each table will also come up with one ‘blue sky’ solution and discuss strategies to address urgency at the executive level. Petchem-Update will note and produce a paper on the shared learnings.

Kerr Jeferies, Project Director for Downstream 2019, said: ‘Our three-month research phase for Downstream 2019 generated several key themes – all of which will be covered on 11 – 12 June 2019 in Houston at the world’s premier event for the Downstream industry. However, at this Advisory Board meeting, we are focusing on an issue of rapidly rising importance for the whole value chain so that we may uncover vital lessons learned and new practices for responding to critical project and workforce resourcing challenges; the opportunities of talent acquisition and availability, learning and development, resource/skills shortages, workforce sustainability, project competitiveness, labour quality and project safety.

“This invite-only meeting is a chance for top executives to explore these issues in depth, and we will be publishing a whitepaper of findings and recommendations aimed at senior executives in the downstream industry as a result.”

Downstream 2019 will bring together 10 000 exhibition visitors, 3000+ conference attendees and more than 350+ trade booths. Also, at the Advisory Board Meeting, the event organisers will provide a critical overview of how this scale will be possible and speak to the core themes of content generated in the three-month programme research phase.

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