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Manning the Egyptian Energy Sector with Power

The Egyptian Ministry of Manpower recently launched the Graduate Technician Training Program in collaboration with oilfield service giant Schlumberger to prepare the next generation of technicians to capitalize on Egypt’s abundant natural resources.

“Egypt… is not only blessed with seemingly ever-increasing oil and gas resources and a surfeit of largely untapped solar power, but a substantial population of over 92 million, which increases by 2.5 percent every year.”

Egypt, as the second-largest non-OPEC producer in Africa, is not only blessed with seemingly ever-increasing oil and gas resources and a surfeit of largely untapped solar power, but a substantial population of over 92 million, which increases by 2.5 percent every year. Little wonder that Egypt’s oil and gas sector has benefited from the abundant workforce and today, Egypt is seen as a source of expertise and experience for the regional, and even global petroleum industry, with many of the senior oil and gas executives in the Middle East and North African region hailing from the country. Despite this fact, as Egypt seeks to modernize its petroleum sector, the country is not content to rest on its laurels. Under the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources’ newly unveiled Modernization Program, training Egyptian talent is one of the six key pillars that Minister of Petroleum H.E. Tarek El Molla has identified as critical to the success of Egypt’s ambition to become a regional energy hub.

In support of this, the Ministry of Manpower has launched the Graduate Technician Training Program in conjunction with Schlumberger, the largest oilfield service company in the world, to train 900 technicians over three years in order to bridge the gap between academic education and real labor market demands in the oil and gas sector. As Minister of Manpower Mohamed Saafan emphasized, education is the key to any nation’s development. Egypt’s problem now is that current education outcomes do not necessarily meet labor market needs, he added, which exacerbates the current unemployment rate in a climate of low oil prices. As a result, this program’s objective is to increase technicians’ employability and empower them with real-life skills. Eng. Hussein Fouad El Ghazzawy, GM and VP Schlumberger, outlined that to accomplish this, in addition to the field and technical training provided by Schlumberger, participants will also receive a custom-made two-month training program designed by Education For Employment (EFE) to equip them with the soft skills necessary for success in the workplace.

Given the mammoth size of this task, it is very heartening to see public-private collaboration on this scale. Not only is it testament to the commitment of Schlumberger to its Egyptian affiliate, it also showcases the potential within the Egyptian workforce and the seriousness with which the Ministry of Manpower is undertaking its responsibilities to combat unemployment and support the needs of the Egyptian people.

Minister Saafan ended his speech with a rousing cry of ‘Revitalize Egypt’ and it was echoed enthusiastically by all the participants present. Judging by their fervor, the futures of this inaugural intake’s students are as bright as the future of the Egyptian oil and gas sector.

Writer: Karen Xi

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