Bridging the Generation Gap

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 11:09

The 74th anniversary of Pemex’s creation is fast approaching. It is very hard to adapt the overall mindset of a company as old and traditional as Pemex to current times. The oil and gas industry is rapidly evolving and new technologies are employed every day. In order to ensure its success and to maintain international standards, Pemex must be up to date with all the latest advances. This is likewise applicable to the company’s workers; it must create a smooth transition between old and young generations. “Mexico needs a modernized Pemex that invests in and grants opportunities to the new generations of engineers,” says Gustavo Hernández García, President of the College of Petroleum Engineers in Mexico (CIPM).

Saúl Sánchez Somera, partner at BIC Consulting, adds that, “The younger generation of engineers can be easily trained, but they lack experience. On the other hand, the older generation of engineers have years and years of experience but are often not as competent with technology. At this point, our best option is training and staying focused on the four key areas proposed by the United Nations: knowledge, application of knowledge, inter-relationships and self-knowledge.”

In the quest to finding a new approach to bridging the gap between dierent generations, Guillermo Cruz Domínguez Vargas, Commissioner at the CNH and President of the Asociación de Ingenieros Petroleros de México (Mexican Petroleum Engineers Association - AIPM), believes that the solution lies in the implementation of a programme where the talents and expertise of one generation are passed on to the next. Simply put, Pemex should find a way to recycle the workers’ abilities before they decide to leave the company.

“People are retiring from Pemex and they are not leaving anything behind for the new generations,” Domínguez Vargas says. “AIPM is trying to set up a programme in which retired workers or workers who are about to retire become mentors for the younger workers. At present, we have them teaching courses and seminars at Pemex. It is in Pemex’s best interest to have some of their experienced workers stay with the company after they retire and help the younger workers learn at least a little bit from their experience.”