Establishing a skilled in-country workforce is one of the most critical challenges facing Gulf countries, and it’s the reason why in-country local content initiatives are a high priority. SPM Oil & Gas is the only company in Iraq accredited by OPITO, the global skills organization for the energy industry, to offer not only Levels 1 and 2 Training but also Apprenticeship Programs. SPM Oil & Gas’ OPITO-accredited Apprenticeship Program is the first program of its kind in Iraq, and teaches electrical, mechanical and instrumentation/controls maintenance as well as process operations. SPM Oil & Gas also teaches apprentices English language development skills to give them an edge in the industry’s workforce.
The economic impact of this program is two-fold. The program eliminates the need for oil and gas companies to fly in-country recruits outside of the region to participate in the OPITO-accredited Apprenticeship Program, which dramatically reduces companies’ training costs. The program also supports in-country nationalization goals, enabling local Iraqis to qualify for technical job opportunities that are typically held by ex-pats which give young Iraqis a future and career path.
The collaboration with OPITO aligns with SPM Oil & Gas’ vision to become a leading industry provider of training and skills development in the Middle East through enhancing the delivery of training to local nationals and supporting skills development projects in the region for a portfolio of companies that includes major global oil businesses.
The current cohort of SPM Oil & Gas apprentices includes 11 men and one woman, exemplifying the company’s commitment to enable Iraqi women to successfully engage in technical disciplines. The apprentices will be gainfully employed by SPM Oil & Gas upon completion of the program to work on energy projects in the region. Local national Iraqis comprise 63% of SPM Oil & Gas’ regional workforce.