Petroleum services training centre opened in Dammam
Dammam, February 27, 2014
The Saudi Petroleum Services Polytechnic (SPSP) - the Construction and Drilling Training Center has been opened in Dammam.
The centre is the fourth SPSP to be opened in the kingdom, with the original campus also located in Dammam, and other centers in Al Khafji and Rabigh.
The polytechnics are a joint initiative of Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation and Chevron, Saudi Arabia, Aramco Gulf Operations Company and Saudi Aramco. It provides training solutions specific to the oil and gas industries.
The centre will offer two-year courses in crane operations, rigging, scaffolding and drilling, all of which combine an academic component with practical application.
Short courses will also be on offer in the areas of health and safety, construction, drilling and management.
The centre has a purpose-built training area complete with vessels, pipe-work and structures all designed for future riggers, scaffolders and heavy machinery operators to practice new skills in a realistic, but safely controlled environment.
TQ, a unit of Pearson, will supply the centre with all academic and technical training, curriculum development, professional development for educators and support services.
Abdullah Al-Yami, executive director of SPSP said they liaised closely with industry to develop the centre’s programmes, consulting with some of the Eastern Province’s largest organisations, including Saudi Aramco.
Speaking at a World Economic Forum recently, Khalid Al-Falih, the president and CEO of Saudi Aramco, said there was a mismatch between the education system and the needs of the petro-chemical industry, which threatened the industry’s overall stability.
A recent International Labour Organisation (ILO) report found that skills shortages in petro-chemical industries are a global problem. An aging workforce compounds the problem, with more than half the industry’s employee base likely to leave the workforce over the course of the next decade, and an inadequate number of young people joining its ranks.
Karim Daoud, Pearson’s managing director for the region, said the new centre should help meet the growing demand in Saudi Arabia for workers with a vocational qualification relevant to the petro-chemical sector, and help young people find employment.
“With youth unemployment in Saudi Arabia significantly higher than the base unemployment rate, we need to look at why so many of our young people are finding it difficult to enter the workplace. Pearson’s research has shown that part of the problem is a mismatch between what students are learning in their education, and the types of skills and qualifications organisations actually need,” said Daoud.
“Vocational education has long been seen as the lesser alternative to a university degree, but this is no longer a reality. The workforce is demanding employees with vocational qualifications, and those students who acquire a vocational education are often finding it easier to secure interesting work that is well-remunerated,” he added. - TradeArabia News Service