UAE youth hold key to tackling talent shortage

Young men and women from a range of disciplines are needed to drive innovation in the industry.The UAE’s youth have a vital role to play in ensuring sustainable oil production through the following century, according to a roundtable debate hosted by Maersk Oil in Abu Dhabi in October

With attendees including Emirates Foundation, GASCO, and the Petroleum Institute, the roundtable, titled Talent Shortage-Filling the Gap, agreed on the importance of maintaining the required level of national talent in oil-producing countries.

Richard Doidge, managing director of Maersk Oil Middle East, said, “The ability to attract the required talent is a number one priority and challenge facing the energy industry today, both in the UAE and around the world.”

The global energy industry is facing a crisis in that almost half of all petroleum engineers are expected to reach retirement age before 2030, according to Gulf Intelligence.

“Not only do companies need to fill roles in petroleum engineering, the industry also needs to attract men and women from a diversity of disciplines, such as geology, mathematics, IT, and analytics to drive innovation in future technologies,” Doidge added.

Gulf Intelligence explained that, looking back over previous decades, each significant decline in oil prices has been followed by financial cuts and often it is training that first feels the impact of these cuts. Subsequently there is a decline in new graduates being employed into the industry.

In line with conclusions agreed at the roundtable, investing in young people, including women, in energy-rich countries and encouraging them to enter into the energy industry is a key way to ease the potential talent shortage crisis.

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