New Programs Offered in Kazakhstan as First Graduates Enter Industry

OPITO -- The Oil & Gas Academy continues to position itself as a vitally important channel within the international oil and gas supply chain with the graduation of Kazakhstan's first trainees at international standard.

Courses were carried out by Abiroy Technical Training in Aksai who approached OPITO, the industry's focal point for skills, learning and workforce development, to help establish technical training programs which meet the specific needs of the country's oil and gas industry.

OPITO provided comprehensive coaching and practical advice to ensure the course addressed regional needs whilst adhering to international best practice.

A total of 98 trainee technicians have completed the programs which include the Petroleum Open Learning (POL) Petroleum Technology series, an internationally recognized certificate used by individuals and employers in more than 15 countries around the world to enhance technical knowledge and improve skills and performance in the workplace.

The modular series was developed using industry expertise honed in the UK.

For the trainee technicians, who are all part of Karachaganak Petroleum Operating (KPO) -- a consortium of operators BG Group, Eni, ChevronTexaco and LUKOIL -- the graduation marks the completion of 18 months of theory-based study and practical worksite training.

The graduation marks the country's first step towards providing a sustainable supply of safe, skilled and effective workers for their industry now and in the future, with a second intake of 113 trainees due to commence their studies later this summer.

Gordon McNeil, Technical Programs Director at OPITO -- The Oil & Gas Academy, said, "This is an excellent example of how we work with employers, independent operators and training providers to identify the individual priorities and challenges that exist in oil and gas provinces around the world and help them develop the high standards adopted in the North Sea.

"The skills and competency of a workforce plays a vital role in ensuring the future of oil and gas. Developed using industry best practice in the UK, POL offer a unique tailor-made solution to the problem of sourcing work-ready employees trained to globally accepted high standards."

Sergio Zanovello, HR controller at KPO, said, "Having worked with OPITO in other overseas locations, we welcomed the opportunity to run the scheme in Kazakhstan. KPO has invested heavily in the development of local professionals at managerial and supervisory levels and we remain focused on providing development programs to international standards.

"OPITO provides us with reliable programs to considerably enhance the professional level of operators and technicians, reflecting our commitment to offering unique career opportunities and professional education to talented Kazakhstani graduates seeking a long and successful career in the oil and gas industry."

To date, 26 countries worldwide use OPITO’s learning products with a staggering 110,000 people trained to its safety standards in 2008.

OPITO representatives Gordon McNeil and Richard Bain both attended the graduation ceremony in Aksai last week.