By Sarah Samir

Schlumberger continues to demonstrate its commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) through its program to train young technicians. On December 17th, it hosted a celebration to honor 72 young people who graduated from its Technician Development Training Program Protocol. The program is a result of a protocol the company signed with the Ministry of Manpower. Per the protocol, Schlumberger agreed to train 300 young people a year with the technical skills necessary to meet market needs for three consecutive years with the total of 900 technicians.

The event celebrated the graduation of the second group of trainees, as well as welcoming the third group of trainees. The training program was launched initially in March 2017.

The graduation ceremony was attended by prominent figures, including the Minister of Manpower, Mohamed Safaan; First Under Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Mohamed Safaan; Qarun Petroleum Chairman, Ashraf Abdel Gawad; Ganoub El Wadi Petroleum Company (Ganope) Chairman, Mohamed Shimy; and Royal Resources Chairman, Sameh Fahmy.

Youth Empowerment Program

Schlumberger’s training program and Education for Employment (EFE) have been empowering youth to express themselves and pursue their goals.

“I joined Schlumberger as a trainee as a part of the agreement between the company and the Ministry of Manpower, and I went to the fields, which added a lot to me and my character,” Shaimaa Mohamed Allam El Sayed Omran from Beni Mazar, El Minya Governorate, told Egypt Oil & Gas

“Today is my graduation from [the training program] and I will [continue] fighting for my dreams as the training and graduation are just the start of my career. I will achieve my goals and will show all the world that Upper Egyptian woman in capable of success,” Shaimaa declared. She enthusiastically noted that the training program will help her as it taught her “that I need to fight for my dreams, prove myself, and start from the bottom to be able to rise. [I need] to fight any restraints that are keeping me tamed and keeping me away from [achieving] my dreams. A part of the training course taught us things like business writing and interview skills, which will help us in the path for achieving our goals.”

A documentary of the training process was shown during the ceremony. Some of the young people interviewed indicated that they had felt lost but had learnt a lot in the past few months—more than they have learned their entire lives. The graduates encouraged their peers to keep trying to find a job and achieve their dreams.

Schlumberger’s training program ensured that women comprised at least 30% of the trainees. “I felt that I can work like a man and do the same tasks he does. All over the training program, I never felt gender discrimination as we were treated equally,” Shaimaa said, adding that she wants to join the Schlumberger team.

”We never expected to find women working proudly [in the oil and gas field] as much as men,” the Chair of EFE, Anise Aclimandos, said, adding that “the trained youth will be ambassadors for the third batch and for ambassadors [to] Egypt’s youth as they will encourage their colleagues to have the same experience.”

Aclimandos said that Egypt’s greatest asset is its young people and that wasting this potential would be the biggest mistake that Egypt could make.

Training is not the End

The training program will not be the end for the recent graduates. Out of the 87 trainees who graduated from the first round, Schlumberger  “hired 14 graduates,” the Vice President & Managing Director of Schlumberger Egypt & East Mediterranean, Hussein El Ghazzawy, stated during his speech, adding that ten graduates had the honor to work in a huge national project in Mediterranean

Discussing the program, El Ghazzawy told Egypt Oil & Gas that the company plans to increase the number of trainees.

“As the first batch had only 87 graduates and the second batch has just 72 graduates, [Schlumberger] has increased the number of trainees in the third batch to be 155 trainees in order to see at least 100 trainees graduating,” El Ghazzawy said. He added that the company “will study increasing the number especially with the opening of our new training facility,” in6th of October City.

El Ghazzaawy pointed out that a company in the oil and gas sector had asked to hire five of the new graduates. It’s not part of the protocol to ensure the hiring of the graduates, he noted, but “it’s very important to make the idea successful and not to lose the youth’s power and hope.” Schlumberger is therefore having “discussions with the Ministry of Petroleum so [it] can [agree] with the sector’s companies to hire from the graduates.”

Schlumberger has further reached agreements with some of Egypt’s neighboring countries, allowing it “to send some of the graduates to work there. So, Schlumberger will export the skilled workforce to teach the world, like the Egyptian civilization was teaching the world for thousands of years.”

Egypt to Have More Training Initiatives

Schlumberger’s training initiative will encourage other companies to take the same steps to empower young people with the tools they need to climb the career ladder.

“Schlumberger’s training program is a model for other companies to follow,” Safaan stated. He noted that the oil and gas sector always takes the lead and said that he hopes the other sectors will join the training initiative.

The minister announced that Egypt aims to adopt a program to train and graduate 30,000 youth per year. He urged all businessmen to cooperate with the ministry to make this initiative a reality and asked Egypt’s young people to keep trying and never to give up. Echoing the president, he quoted President Abdel Fattah El Sisi as saying: “No one will build Egypt, but Egypt’s youth.”

“We are so proud that we are the first company to adopt the idea of the training program,” El Ghazzawy noted, adding that the company has “no problem to share its experience with other companies, even if that will make them better than [Schlumberger].”

Furthermore, Schlumberger is launching a “new training facility in the company’s new base in the 6th of October City,” El Ghazzawy highlighted.

“The company’s new training facility contains lectures rooms. In addition, the company plans to get a drilling rig in the new training facility in order to train people on the equipment and to turn the training facility [into] a leading training center in North Africa and the Middle East, which will enable [Schlumberger] to help others,” El Ghazzawy said.

Schlumberger has gone further than just preparing young people for the petroleum sector.  El Ghazzawy said that the company has “communicated with different firms outside the petroleum field in big fields like the iron and steel industry” to hire technicians who graduated from the training program. In addition, El Ghazzawy noted that Schlumberger will hire graduates from the program if the company needs any technicians in the future.

Successful Talents

The second batch of trainees in the program proved successful and creative. Safaan noted that “Egypt’s youth is capable, and [Egypt] would be able to face the impossible with these youth.”

Young people graduating from the program presented creative projects to help the economy prosper and preserve the environment at the same time.

The first project focused on a virtual company, Green Fiber Company. The company’s main work would include using banana stalks in several industries, such as the textile industry. The trainees noted that Egypt produces around 33 million banana stalks per year. Out of these stalks, 15% are left in the fields, 30% are thrown in the Nile, and 55% are burnt. The young people that were trained by Schlumberger on health, safety, and environment (HSE) standards refused to let this pass easily. They thought of establishing a company that would collect banana stalks, establish factories in the banana-producing villages, recycle the stalks, and sell the product to textile and handicraft factories. The youth thought the company could produce around 600 kilograms per day.

The second project proposed by the graduates was Golden Oil Company, a company that would recycle used oils in Egypt. The idea of the company was inspired by Egypt’s use of 500 million liters of engine oils per year. The virtual company’s main scope would be to recycle used oils to produce engine oil and grease. The graduates said in their presentation that they plan to import a CMM/R12 machine from Germany to recycle used oils. The project’s operation would go through four phases: the first phase would be the purification process; the second phase would be the retail operations; the third phase would be the blending process; and the last phase would be the packing process.

Golden Oil Company would collect used oils from filling stations, car maintenance stations, and factories and companies. The resultant recycled oil would be used to fuel car, ship, and plane engines. It would also be used in technical workshops, electricity generating equipment, and melting furnaces.

The company’s proposed target would be to cover 12% of the market’s demands with 20% lower prices with the goal of increasing market coverage to 40% within three years.

“Any success is assessed by a number of factors, of which development and continuity are main keys,” El Ghazzawy stated. The Technicians Development Training Program has two main keys to success.  Schlumberger is continuing to develop the program and is creating “one database for graduates and trainees,” El Ghazzawy noted, adding that the company’s new training facility will pave the way for further development and will provide multiple training workshops.