Alex García
Representative in Mexico
View from the Top

Filling Skills Gap With Right Person for Right Job

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 16:30

Q: What is the role of training in today’s industry context and what benefit does IHRDC provide?

A: Training today is designed around building a competent workforce. Successful company executives, especially in the international oil and gas industry, want to ensure all their employees are capable of performing their jobs to international standards and that they comply with all regulations. That state of competency does not organically happen; a competency and compliance management system must be put in place and IHRDC has helped many companies in our industry to achieve that goal. In fact, our system has been adopted by SPE and SEG.

It all starts with the building of competency models for each or some of a client’s key roles. The process begins with a client selecting target job titles from IHRDC’s inventory of 350 industry-standard, generic competency models and then we tailor each model to the client’s specific needs. Each employee is assessed against a list of capabilities from his or her competency model so any skill gaps are identified. In this way, each person’s competency gaps define his or her individual development plan, essentially the training that person needs to become fully qualified.

We help many oil and gas operators and service companies around the world to assess the competency level of their people so they can fill any gaps through our CMS online platform, our online courses, instructional programs and on-the-job mentorship resources. These resources help clients tailor a corporation-wide development plan based on each employee’s individual skill gaps. Our competency system also assists our clients with succession planning and recruiting. With regard to succession planning, if a company’s whole team is profiled on CMS online, it facilitates the selection of the most appropriate job candidates by searching the employee database using job-specific criteria.

With CMS online, plans can be created for a company’s staff. We also help the companies with a library of over 1,500 online courses covering the whole value chain of the oil and gas industry.

Q: To what extent are IHRDC’s courses adapted to the Mexican oil and gas industry?

A: There is going to be a large demand for employees in the coming years due to the Energy Reform, and there are just not enough professionals prepared and available today. IHRDC’s products and services can help operators prepare their staff for their needs and our training material applies to most functions independent of the country. Nevertheless, we have been translating the content of the competence library and the online courses into Spanish for the Latin American market. Most of the 380 online courses for operation and maintenance have been translated into Spanish to facilitate the use of local labor.

Several trends are unfolding. One is the expansion of the opening of the Mexican industry with massive offshore blocks being offered. There is also unconventional activity that is going to take place here and people do not have that particular skillset in Mexico. We can help companies prepare for that. Also, there is the coming of what is called the “big crew change.” There is a large gap between the senior people in the industry and younger generations. Those younger generations need to start filling the management positions being vacated by these experienced and seasoned people. The challenge is how to bring people into these jobs quickly and effectively.

Q: What are the principal skills required in the Mexican oil and gas industry?

A: Although there are many outstanding professionals in Mexico, as new blocks are explored and developed, there will be a dearth of people with knowledge in different areas like offshore, EOR and unconventional operations. All this requires different skillsets involving technology. There will be a significant lack of talent availability to tackle current problems and now is the time to prepare such talent.