Training of local personnel for the oil and gas industry

The unequal remuneration of Kazakhstani and foreign specialists is considered to be the main cause of the disturbances that broke out in Tengiz.  However, it is difficult to equalize it, wages depend on the specific skills and experience of the employee. Acting Chairman of the Board at NJSC Kasipkor, Yermek Kuzenbayev, told if educational institutions of the country know what the oil and gas industry of Kazakhstan needs and how the training of local personnel is going on.

– YermekBakhytovich, before preparing personnel for the oil and gas industry, do you analyze the needs, what kind of personnel is needed,what skills they should have?

– Yes, of course, we constantly monitor the labor market. For example, the oil and gas industry, according to NCE Atameken in Atyrau region, currently needs service specialists for garment manufacture, catering (Fig.1.), this is due to the increase in the number of workers, since 2019 -2021 are peak years in the implementation of the Tengizchevroil Future Growth Project. We also track the skills that companies need (Fig. 2.). This is important, as the requirements for skills are changing rapidly, because real business is more mobile and the Academy must adapt, become more flexible and mobile. Another example, the APEC PetroTechnic College trains students in six specialities (Electricity, Oil and gas well drilling and technology of drilling, Exploitation of oil and gas fields, Technology of oil and gas production, Instrumentation engineering technology, Chemical engineering technology), but as we see the growing need for IT professionals, we are introducing two new specialities in September: Information systems and Automation. We successfully managed to link the Academy, the production and students on the basis of АРЕС PetroTechnic Higher College. We plan to scale the created synergy to the whole of Kazakhstan, having implemented it in other colleges of the country.

– How will it work, and what will graduates and employers get from it?

– It is obvious that for modernization of VET, it is necessary to bring it in compliance with the international standards, to provide it with modern equipment demanded at the enterprises. But this is not the only thing that must be done. We are launching the “ZhasMaman” project, which aims to introduce international standards of training in 180 colleges and 20 universities of the country, and this will involve foreign partners. Together with a foreign partner, educational institutions will update the training programs, will train the teaching staffand will improve management of the educational institution. The Strategy of development of each educational institution for the next 5 years will be considered separately for compliance of the taken measures and expected results to the main tasks of “ZhasMaman”. As a result of modernization and implementation of international standards, colleges and universities will become industry centers of competence in their profession, including WorldSkills. Then, together with a foreign partner, they will pass international industry accreditation, which is recognized worldwide for the relevant profile of training. This will ensure a change in the structure of training from “catching up” to “advance”.

There will also be built a system of mass (evening, Sunday, online) courses for the preparation of young people. Working youth will have greater opportunities for training and retraining. Dual training will be expanded. Competence centers will also be the basis for the work of business incubators/technoparks to involve young people in innovative and start-up projects, which will also be the business environment for financing attractive projects.

– How will all these changes help local companies to find scarce specialists?

– They will receive thousands of highly qualified and well-trained graduates and not only graduates. Many employers do not know that they can attract students to work from the second semester of their studies. The first option is traditional internships of students, implying a certain number of hours spent at the enterprise. The second option is a dual system of education, in which the student’s program can be changed to 80%. That is, 80% of the time a student can spend at work, receive the minimum salary and absorb the corporate spirit of the company. The third is the most popular type of employment – after graduation, but by that time, the best students will have already found a job.  Therefore, I would recommend to use a dual training system. It gives you the opportunity to see your future employees and understand which of them is really ready to work.

– What do you think should be changed in the system of secondary special education to make it more useful for real business, local companies?

– The rapid development of technologies, changes in industrial processes, rapid updating of equipment requires clear, basic standards and centers that could evaluate and confirm the “Quality Brand” of training of a specialist. There are almost no such centers of competence in Kazakhstan. International companies operating in Kazakhstan are forced to involve competence centers from other countries for evaluation and training to ensure the quality of work performed at the output. The programs of the international centers are not adapted to SNIP and other regulatory documents of Kazakhstan. As a result, oil and gas companies are forced to play a “double game”: to receive a state-recognized document, and then to train specialists by the international standards of the centers of competence of the UK, the US, Canada and other countries. This is not only a waste of money and man-hours, but it also creates a monopoly on the market of training services, bringing capital abroad.

By the way, we are creating an international competence center based on APEC PetroTechnic, which, due to its beneficial location, will be able to work not only in Kazakhstan, but also in Russia and Central Asia. Development and standardization of competencies in the country will increase the “skills currency”, which is directly converted into economic growth. Improving the economic situation, in turn, allows investment in skills development and re-starts the growth.

Summing up, I would like to note that the most important change that we are purposefully implementing is business-orientedness. Our employees, teachers, instructors, methodists – all must understand that the learning process is a part of business. Academic and instructional divisions need to change, to see the possibilities of potential income and to cease to rely on the state budget. Throughout the world, the value of higher education tends to decrease. The best universities offer onlineprograms, so the value of practical and applied courses needed for a particular solution is growing. We need skills, not diplomas. Competent and financially effective management of the existing material and technical base – dormitories, premises, workshops, growth and development in the ability to offer the market demanded and relevant training programs should be the basis of the country’s colleges.

TOP 15 most popular specialities among major oil companies. Data of NCE Atameken

1 Seamstress 140
2 Catering 50
3 Chemical technology and production (by types) 50
4 Process unit operator* 35
5 Machining, instrumentation and automation in industry 35
6 Process unit repair specialist 31
7 Technician-technologist 30
8 Oil and gas production operator 27
9 Electrician for repair and maintenance of electrical equipment 27
10 Maintenance, repair and operation of motor transport 25
11 Fireman – rescue man 20
12 Electrical equipment of power plants and networks (by types) 19
13 Welding (by types) 16
14 Organization of hotel services 15
15 Process unit operator (energy resources) 15

Data of recruitment agencies

Position Location Shift Skills
Electrical Designer Atyrau  5/2 Higher engineering degree. (Preferably related to electrical design). Relevant experience – at least 5 years as electrical designer. Basic understanding of the processes of an oil field or plant.
Experience in SmartPlant Electrical.
Operations engineering (OE), elements of safe operation, reliability and efficiency in the development of solutions for projects and processes.
AutoCad training / experience.
Electrical Engineer Karabatan  6/1 Higher engineering degree. Experience – 3-5 years as electrical engineer.  Codes and standards oт electrical construction of the Republic of Kazakhstan and other legislative, regulatory legal acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan, relevant European standards and norms.
Instrumentation Engineer Tengiz/Atyrau 28/28 – 5/2 Higher engineering degree.  Experience – 3-5 years as instrumentation engineer.  elevant European standards and norms;
Security Systems
Tengiz shift Working knowledge of MS Office and AutoCAD
ü Engineering degree from an accredited university (electrical engineering, civil).
ü Working knowledge of methods of wiring for IT, electrical equipment, video surveillance, security technologies, equipment.
ü Experience in design and installation systems. ü Knowledge of technical standards and design methods.