Bapco to revise scholarship scheme
Manama, July 4, 2009
Bapco is taking positive steps to plug vital skills gaps in key disciplines such as chemical engineering, geology and petroleum engineering with a revised scholarship scheme for 25 high-achieving Bahrainis.
The company awarded scholarships to 13 high-school Towjehiya (science) graduates and undergraduates from the University of Bahrain, and 12 existing Bapco employees at the Bapco Scholarships Awards 2009 ceremony held in Awali.
Each scholar met stringent academic and personal criteria laid down by Bapco. Eleven scholars will study overseas in either the UK or Australia, while 14 will attend either full- or part-time courses in Bahrain, said a top Bapco official.
Bapco requires graduates in technical disciplines such as geology and petroleum engineering to meet future demand from its upstream oil and gas field development initiatives. There is currently a global shortage of graduates in these disciplines to meet forecasted demand.
In a speech to mark the awards, outgoing chief executive Abdulkarim Al-Sayed, himself a Bapco scholar, described the 2009 scholars as ‘prized assets’ who could play a big role in the Company’s future.
“The programme aims to prepare Bahrainis for skilled positions and future leadership roles to meet our technical and succession planning requirements. “I hope we can reap the rewards of this programme in the future,” he said.
Ahmed Tahery, Bapco’s Manager - Training & Development Department, and chairman of the Scholarships Working Committee, which was responsible for implementing the Bapco Scholarship Awards 2009, said the awards were the first phase of a five-year master plan to revitalise and streamline the Company’s scholarship initiatives which would assist in future planning.
“It was the chief executive’s vision in 2008 that we build on our earlier scholarship success through creating a streamlined process that would propel us towards meeting the future demand for Bahraini talent. A revised process has its roots firmly in manpower planning and budget management,” he said.
Bapco reduced its overseas scholarship programme in the early 1970s when local educational establishments began offering courses relevant to the company.
Many former Bapco scholars now occupy prominent positions both in Bapco and as government ministers, CEOs and other professional executives in the Kingdom.
By September 2009, Bapco will have a total of 44 scholars in Bahrain, Jordan, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, the UK and Australia, including the latest batch of 25. Bapco expects this figure to rise to 74 by 2013.
Ammar Hussain, a 28-year Bapco veteran who works in the Plant Maintenance Department and is preparing to embark on a one-year B.Eng. degree in Engineering Technology Management at the University of Huddersfield in the UK, said the scholarship was proof of Bapco’s sustained commitment to Bahrainisation.
“The award of these scholarships is strong evidence of Bapco’s vision of ‘striving for excellence in the oil industry’ by caring for our people,” he observed.
Ehsan Faraj, from the Technical Services Department, will embark on a two-year part-time BTEC National Diploma in Chemical Technology at the Bahrain Training Institute (BTI), and said the course ensured career progression within Bapco.
Meanwhile Taqi Mohamed, who recently graduated from Al Naim School and who will embark on a one-year Foundation course followed by a four year Chemical Engineering degree at the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK, spoke on behalf of the graduate scholars and praised Bapco for being a scholarships ‘pacesetter’ in the Gulf.
“Securing a Bapco scholarship is a dream come true for any ambitious and creative student, because not only does it mean achieving a good academic qualification, it also means a challenging career beyond graduation,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service