The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources (MoP) has succeeded in achieving a chain of unprecedented milestones through the Modernization Project. The project was launched at the end of 2016, aiming at modernizing the Egyptian oil and gas sector. The implementation of such an inclusive strategy plays a vital role in boosting the country’s economic growth, in addition to transforming Egypt into a regional energy hub.

The Modernization Project consists of seven pillars and its execution has been passing through three phases. The first phase began in 2016 by conducting a diagnostic study, followed by the second phase which included the project’s planning and launching in 2017 and 2018. After that, the project commenced its implementation phase from January 2019 to June 2020. Consequently, the oil and gas sector witnessed many achievements and reforms, with expected returns of about $7-9 billion.

One of the project’s seven pillars is the Human Resources (HR) Management pillar. Human resources are seen as a key element in developing any industry, even for the oil and gas sector. Under the Modernization Project, the HR Management pillar focuses on two aspects; soft skills and hard skills.

HR Pillar Targets

Developing the oil and gas industry’s human resources and strengthening their skills will help the industry leaders make right decisions, work efficiently, overcome major challenges, and put the sector on track.

Building on this, Eng. Tarek El Molla, the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, dedicated a whole pillar to enhance the sector’s human capital and improve their capabilities, especially middle management calibers and young professionals.

For this pillar to accomplish its aims, it requires adopting new systems to develop employees and prepare future leaders, which in return will enhance the sector and achieve its goals.

HR Development Strategy

In order to develop the sector’s human capital, the MoP has been following a strategy, under which, the HR Management pillar comprises two subprograms; 3A and 3B. 3A main objective is to craft and institute a comprehensive talent management system

Meanwhile, 3B focuses on driving efficiency in core activities and leverage people in new growth areas

One of the instances of the 3A theme is the Zohr Development Program. This program aims at supporting the ministry’s HR Management pillar. The program was launched in August 2017 with an initial number of participants of around 35,122, receiving 287,874 training hours, yet by the end of the program, the total number of participants reached around 74,695. Under the HR Management Pillar, several programs were launched to empower the sector’s young professionals and create future leaders such as:

I. Middle Management Program

The Middle Management Program consists of three phases. The first phase included the design of the program itself to attract talented employees. Followed by the second phase, which included evaluating applicants, shortlisting and selecting the highly skilled ones. Then, the third phase was conducted in cooperation with international oil companies (IOCs) to host the program’s participants and provide them with on job training sessions in their premises.

II. JVs Modernization

As part of the MoP’s efforts to modernize the oil and gas sector, it launched the Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Program. This program aims at spreading awareness among employees on the importance of HSE, in addition to providing them with the needed procedures and precautions to overcome potential risks and hazards.

Moreover, the ministry has intensified its efforts to implement the Modernization Project on Joint Ventures (JVs) as well. In August 2017, designing the organizational structure of Petro Shorouk Company was completed. The same year witnessed finalizing the diagnostic study of developing Badr El Din Petroleum Company (BAPETCO). Consequently, BAPETCO was selected by the MoP to be a role model when it comes to the implementation of the new JV model. For further developments in BAPETCO, the ministry launched a program, in cooperation with Shell, in February 2018.

Furthermore, Eni, BP, and Apache coordinated together to implement such development programs on their JVs.

III. Senior Management Succession Planning Program

The ministry paid a great deal of attention to senior management as well through conducting the Senior Management Succession Planning Program. This program aims at collecting sufficient information about the competencies of the National Oil Companies’ (NOCs) heads. This information will be used to improve their managerial skills to cope with the current levels of the International Oil Companies’ (IOCs) Chairpersons.

Additionally, a new structure, prepared by the ministry, is anticipated to be announced during the upcoming period. This new structure targets improving the sector’s efficiency and transparency.

The Senior Management program seeks to establish a balanced view on the professional careers of senior managers. This could be done through figuring out individual professional experiences, business visions and perspectives, career ambitions, in addition to considering the variety in talents, leadership styles and personalities.

This program includes four key steps. The first step is to establish the program’s foundations which depends on specifying targeted candidates for new leadership positions.

At the second step, senior managers conduct two surveys to fill required information about their professional profiles and personalities.

This is followed by a third step, in which the MoP conducts in-depth interviews with senior managers to discuss their experiences and preferences, in addition to joining several workshops to discuss the sector’s diversified perspectives.

After that comes the fourth and final step, under which, the ministry provides a recommended shortlist of leaders for new positions, depending on the information gathered during the previous steps.

Human Capital Analysis and Database

With an eye on the 3B aspect, it focuses on modernizing the database of the sector’s human capital through which, the MoP intends to ensure that organizations’ employees are managed and evaluated effectively; in terms of performance, competencies, skills, creativity, and productivity. This plan will help identify the employees’ critical issues that need to change.

This strategy began in January 2018 when the programasked the sector’s employees to update their information on their companies’ database.

This model helps determine the skills of each company’s employees, have deeper insights into their strengths and weaknesses, as well as identifying risks and opportunities needed to develop their companies. That is why the MoP addressed on June 2, 2019 all companies to assure updating their employees’ data regularly. Additionally, the ministry has been developing analytical reports on human capital’s strengths and weaknesses points. This analysis included 102 entities of the sector.

Another model developed was the job description template. This model enables employees to understand their duties, responsibilities, as well as being effective in the recruitment and selection processes, performance management, training and development initiatives, and succession planning. Besides, this model allows better determination and utilization of human capital’s qualifications to enable authorized decision makers to put the right person in the right place, and furthur develop the sector’s human calibers.

Moreover, the MoP provided the Optional Early Retirement model which was implemented in February 2019. This model covers administrative and financial terms, in addition to the development of the early retirement calculator to reap the system’s benefits.

Another model adopted by the ministry is the Manpower Redistribution. This model depends on announcing vacancies according to each company’s needs through the MoP web portal.

Furthermore, a Part Time Scheme model was implemented in March 2019. This model executes new regulations, in which all state-owned enterprises (SOEs) sent letters to the affiliates. This mainly helps the ministry in achieving its mission of digitalizing the sector’s employees’ databases.

All above mentioned models and programs marks the MoP’s determination to enhance the employees’ skills, and build well-qualified leaders for a better future.