According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of petroleum engineers is expected to grow 26% by 2022 compared to 2012, much faster than the national average or of other engineering jobs. There is a huge shortage of people in the oil and gas industry in the U.S., but Malaysia’s nationalized company, Petronas, has been building its own pipeline of future employees.
Last Friday, Petronas won Asia’s Best Employer Brand Award for the fifth time, an award that Petro Global News said “recognized Petronas for its efforts and investments in enhancing its human capital development, as well as its human resource practices, policies and strategies.”
“Petronas has always believed in ‘building own timber’ to ensure we have a sustainable pool of talent to support the future growth and expansion of our businesses,” said Raiha Azni Abdul Rahman, Senior Vice President of Group Human Resource Management for Petronas. “We are currently working on a number of initiatives to encourage educational foundations and capability development of our talent, as well as extending this to our local community as part of our corporate social responsibility in building a pipeline of educated citizens.”
Petronas has a comprehensive and widely varied system for encouraging Malaysian citizens to become part of the oil and gas industry. They provide scholarships for students to pursue higher education abroad and offer programs for Malaysian college students at three different institutes and through their separate teaching organization. They utilize eLearning within their business and have a large internship program. Petronas engages with future employees as early as their pre-teens by adopting schools to increase the standards of teaching. Additionally, the company runs four Science Discovery Centers, highly interactive and kid-friendly museums, throughout Malaysia.
A June 2014 survey of over 11,000 university students in Malaysia showed that Petronas is the most desirable employer for students in business, natural science and engineering. Petronas is an integrated power house of employment.
The U.S. is struggling to fill positions. For instance, Bloomberg reported that San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, now offers a four-hour welding class in the middle of the night that will let graduates immediately earn about $28 an hour. Peter Huntsman, Chief Executive Officer of Huntsman Corporation, said, “You can take every citizen in the region of Lake Charles (Louisiana) between the ages of 5 and 85 and teach them all how to weld and you’re not going to have enough welders (in the Gulf).”
The Bloomberg report went on to say that “In Australia, cooks at offshore projects are earning more than A$350,000 ($328,000) a year while laundry hands get more than A$325,000 and barge welders almost A$400,000, imperiling investments in liquefied natural gas.”
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