Thanks to the vision of the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Eng. Tarek El Molla, the Egyptian oil and gas sector has begun its journey towards developing the sector for a brighter future. This was achievable through the Modernization Project, which stemmed from the ministry’s belief in creating motivated, talented, and well-developed young professionals to succeed in this journey and accomplish its future ambitions. The Modernization Project specified a whole pillar, the Human Resources (HR) Management, for this aim.

One of the most prominent programs under this pillar is the Middle Management Program. This program was initiated by the minister, who has assured over the years that the Egyptian oil and gas sector is enriched by young talents. Thus, the minister was keen on discovering these talents and developing them to be the sector’s future leaders. That is why being enrolled on this program has been seen as an achievement in its own. “This Middle Management Development Program is part of our aim to prepare the future leaders of the oil and gas sector. [This] will [help] ensure [achieving] sustainability and success in our sector in the near future,” El Molla previously commented on this program.

This program is inspirational to the sector’s employees as it does not only aim to build creative professionals, on a technical and managerial levels, but it also helps improve their personalities. This goal becomes easier by providing the sector’s young professionals with distinguished, valuable trainings through the Middle Management Program. “I am really confident that what we are currently [doing] with such ambitious development program will lead us at the end to make sure that we have proper skills [and] proper talented young generation that will take the sector to prosperity [and] success,” the minister stressed.

Recognizing the Minister’s Efforts

Throughout this program, the minister was decisive on developing five core values which are innovation, ethics, safety, transparency, and efficiency. Candidates acquire these core values while developing the Middle Management Program.

Building on that, the minister was eager to include all the sector’s talented young professionals in this program. He affirmed that this program’s implementation process was based upon transparency and honesty; especially during the selection phase to ensure a fair chance to all applicants. The candidates applied online first through the ministry’s web portal. After that, they were assessed meticulously, then selected candidates had to spare no effort to succeed in the program’s examinations.

Since the minister has always believed in the vital importance of this program, he has always been keen on meeting the program’s participants to follow up on the latest updates. Throughout these meetings, the minister was able to evaluate the program’s efficiency, as well as create any changes needed for further improvement.

Moreover, El Molla confirmed that the youth qualifications play a vital role in the sector’s success; hence, the Middle Management Program will help create a group of qualified individuals capable of leading the future of the Egyptian oil and gas sector, as well as appreciating the role of the sector’s foreign partners in supporting this program.

El Molla also pointed out to the importance of health, safety, and environment (HSE) in the petroleum industry, confirming the importance of people’s commitment to safety measures. He added that this program offers a broad vision about the industry, enabling it to focus mainly on exploration and production (E&P) activities, in addition to developing management skills such as strategic thinking and finance.

Following up with the Calibers

In February 2019, El Molla met with trainees from the first batch of youth enrolling in the young and middle-management program, comprising of 117 men and women who succeeded in the required tests and are ready to enroll into the program. Around 450 men and women had passed the tests and were divided into three batches that will be trained one after the other.

The minister met with the HR Management pillar team in May 2019 to review the recent updates in the HR Management projects. The meeting reviewed the recent updates in the Middle Management training program as 114 young people enrolled into the first batch of the training and joined developed programs prepared in cooperation with Schlumberger in March 2019.

Moreover, the ministry prepared to launch phase two of the HSE training to further develop the capabilities of employees in the HSE departments as the first phase ended successfully.

Later in May, El Molla met with 74 young engineers and chemists from HSE departments of several oil and gas firms. The young professionals had previously enrolled in a training program that aims to develop their abilities in HSE after they had passed qualification tests and the first phase of the training program.

The meeting was held at the end of the first phase of the program, which had been launched as a part of the ministry’s Modernization Project to invest in developing the oil and gas sector’s human resources and support young talents. During the meeting, El Molla encouraged trainees to exert every effort to benefit from the upcoming phases that provide great potential and nontraditional programs.

The ministry was preparing to enroll other groups into the program in collaboration with the IOCs in Egypt.

Collaborations with IOCs

Furthermore, the minister believed that the cooperation with international oil companies (IOCs) will help improve the implementation of the Middle Management Program through providing them with several trainings in the companies’ premises. These trainings have led to developing an enriched environment in the oil and gas sector through the provided advanced technical trainings. During these trainings, the IOCs provide a different view of the global oil and gas industry. Through the ministry’s collaboration with various IOCs, trainees get the chance to immerse themselves in a new culture and fully understand the benefits and effects of working in a diverse workforce.

A number of programs were signed with IOCs to advance the HR. Such programs have a positive impact on the sector, in addition, they contribute to the Egyptian economic growth. The minister pointed out that this program aims at preparing the sector’s young calibers starting from youth to the highest management positions.

One of the main fruits of this program was established on December 3, 2019, in which the minister handed out certificates for 20 employees from the Middle Management Program trained by Halliburton. The celebration was held on the sidelines of Halliburton’s 100th anniversary, in the presence of some heads in the petroleum sector along with Colby Fuser, the Vice President of Halliburton in Egypt and Libya.

Additionally, on January 8, the minister met with 25 members from the Middle Management Program, who finished up an advanced training program. The training program was presented in cooperation with Baker Hughes for three months in the US, England, Italy, Germany and the UAE. The program aims at enhancing the levels of scientific and professional skills as well as the experiences of young calibers through engaging them in the company’s work environment.

El Molla pointed out the importance of the foreign partners’ roles in supporting this program, praising these partnerships and their efforts in putting a suitable framework for the youth and enabling them to have new experiences in the technical and management fields. Moreover, the minister pointed out that the experiences that the youth have obtained abroad will benefit the petroleum sector in Egypt, as the youth will transfer their experiences to contribute to advancing the sector’s operations’ efficiency.

El Molla also praised the youth’s desire to work and exert efforts in achieving more progress in the sector, in addition to guarantee sustainable success, noting that this program aims at coping with digitizing the sector and using modern technologies in business administration.

In recognition of the IOCs’ efforts to contribute with the minister to achieving his goal, El Molla praised their real commitment not only to the oil and gas sector but also to Egypt, in addition, they did not spare any efforts, time, or resource to help the ministry put together a program to develop potential future leaders.

Moreover, this all stems from El Molla’s perception in the power of human capital and its ability to push the sector forward towards development and sustainability.

The Feedback

The Middle Management Program helps foster the culture of accountability; which is a main characteristic of good leadership. By instilling an urge of responsible behavior; the minister guarantees providing a safe space in the workforce.

With an eye on the feedback on the program, the minister commented saying, “I am really pleased because of the feedback we received from both [our foreign partners] and the candidates, [which] was very positive and really ensures and demonstrates that we are on the right track.”

For their part, the youth stressed on the importance of this program in strengthening their strategic planning and dynamic thinking skills by exposing them to different work experiences. They mentioned the skills they acquired from these programs, including how to apply the most efficient practices in their fields using new available technologies in the IOCs, in addition to the models and practices related to HSE, as well as digitization to increase their efficiency and enhance their creativity, leadership and problem-solving skills.