By Sarah Samir

The Egyptian oil and gas industry is in need of well-trained talented technicians to work on the Egyptian fields in order to positively affect the production. Hence, Schlumberger Egypt has launched a training program in cooperation with the Ministry of Man Power at a dedicated event held in one of Cairo’s biggest hotels in February. The aim of the program is to train young technicians to meet the best international standards.

The service provider in the oil and gas industry in Egypt is thus offering a specialized training program for technicians, framed as a part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative. “We have responsibility towards this country and towards developing training in the fields of petroleum and macro gas,” said Schlumberger’s Vice President (VP) and General Manager, Hussein Fouad El Ghazzawy.

Three Years Dedicated Program

Schlumberger’s training program will be built on a three-year lifecycle as the company’s Education Services Training Center Manager, Heba Abaza, told Egypt Oil&Gas. “The plan is to train 900 people over three years. Every four months we will have a group of 100 trainees who will spend two months in soft skills and then move on to field training, & finalizing the program with a graduation project.”

Training Center Manager Abaza added that after six weeks of soft skills training, “there will be one day of induction training on Schlumberger, and the services provided to the petroleum industry.” In addition, the program will deliver training on “health, safety& environment to increase the safety of personnel and facilities. This training will last for four days,” Abaza shared further details.

This will be followed up with two-month field training in line with Schlumberger’s services portfolio. The company fulfills its role in the industry throughout multiple segments. Accordingly, trainees will be divided among respective segments during their field training. “Each segment will have ten trainees for an on-job training and they will work with the field engineers and specialists.”

Following upon that, “the program will offer one week supervision for trainees to prepare their graduation projects that will be presented at a graduation ceremony,” noted Heba Abaza.

The soft skills training will be provided by the Education for Employment (EFE), which is “a non-profit organization that is working under the guidance of the Ministry of Social Solidarity,” according to EFE’s Operational Manager, Ismail Habrouk.

As Schlumberger’s VP El Ghazzawy explained to Egypt Oil&Gas, the company chose to dedicate its program to technicians rather than other professionals from the industry. He explained the reasons behind this choice. “We did not think of the engineers first, instead we thought of technicians. This youth is excellent, but they need somebody to help them understand teamwork and their commitment. The experience will have a learning curve. It will enable us to learn from the youth as well as teach them and develop them.”

To End Unemployment

The main target of the training program is to overcome “the unemployment ghost” on several levels, as stated by the Egyptian Minister of Manpower, Mohamed Safan, who attended Schlumberger’s event.

According to Schlumberger’s Training Center Manager, Heba Abaza, “the training program’s goals are to support youth with the basic skills that will help them in their technical skills and their professional growth in general. We aim to teach work ethics, and part of the training will also focus on passing experience to others.” In this way, Schlumberger will overcome the shadow of knowledge transfer and succeed in creating a sustainable program with multipliers.

The program will further focus on talents that will help young technicians to “stay in the job,” according to EFE’s Operational Manager, Ismail Habrouk. As he explained, “the labor market is seeking responsible youth with energy, self-confidence, credibility, and ambition.” This is what the program is promising to deliver, reflecting on the actual, present, and tangible needs dictated by the market and specificities of the Egyptian oil and gas industry.

Empowering Women

Another significant segment of the training program is Schlumberger’s focus on female professionals.

The company has embarked upon a commitment to empower women, who are represented in the oil and gas sector with a higher percentage than in any other industry in the country. “The percentage of women working in the oil and gas industry is 25%, but, today, in Schlumberger, we are starting the training program with even a higher percentage than that,” stated Strategy and Transformation Manager at Schlumberger, Mohamed Helal. VP and General Manager El Ghazzawy pointed out that the company is “glad that 30% of the trainees are women.” Helal added that Schlumberger hopes that in the future the program will generate growing percentage of female technicians, and those who will receive the specialized training “may increase to as much as 50%.”

In line with Egypt’s Year of Women in 2017, as President Abdel Fattah El Sisi announced, “Schlumberger has been always empowering women,” Heba Abaza further noted. “Schlumberger always had women in the field, it is not a new concept, and we are used to that.” Accordingly, “we are supporting women, as women are just as powerful, just as strong, and just as mentally powerful as men. So why shouldn’t they be given an equal chance to work in fields, where they may be even more creative,” Abaza said. In the program, as she further affirmed, women perform excellently. “I was impressed during my interviews with the ladies [in the program] as they are very enthusiastic.” Hence, Schlumberger “aims to expand this initiative to the entire country.”

Offering a Better Future

It is beyond doubt that the training program is offering a brighter future for the youth involved in Schlumberger. VP and General Manager El Ghazzawy pointed out that “10% of the accomplished trainees will [get the chance to] have training abroad. Thus, [trainees] should seek success and compete together to get the training outside of Egypt. We started talks with UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Asia, and Africa to send our people there, or as Minister Safan said before, to export our people. Egypt currently exports talents and will export them to the whole world” for years to come.

Accordingly, Minister of Manpower, Mohamed Safan, stated that the training program aims to improve the Egyptian talents. “What we are [seeking] is to have the youth mastering the talents and experience [whom we will] be proud of, to have the youth as a symbol for Egypt here and abroad, and for the companies to have a desire to hire Egyptian employees in the future.”

Schlumberger training program is an initiative that will empower youth and develop their skills and expertise. El Ghazawy told Egypt Oil&Gas that Schlumberger is “waiting for the launching of the training center to observe its capacities and then it will present training for other talents in the fields of engineering, logistics, safety, and procurement.”Hence, the sustainability is guaranteed. It is a program that will improve technicians and in the future enhance talents in other sectors, which will eventually help develop the oil and gas industry and boost the Egyptian oil and gas production.

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