One hundred ninety five Omani job seekers graduated today to work as welders on PDO’s Rabab Harweel integrated oil and gas mega project. The recruits have successfully completed 20 months’ training and are taking up positions with two of the Company’s main contractors, CCC and Al Turki Enterprises.
The graduation ceremony at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Muscat took place under the auspices of His Excellency Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy, Minister of Oil and Gas in the presence of His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah Al Bakri, Minister of Manpower.
The PDO-funded vocational training scheme combines theory and practice and qualifies trainees up to 6G level – the most advanced – which is recognised by international accreditation bodies such as The Welding Institute (TWI) and The American Welding Society.
Talking about the initiative PDO Managing Director Raoul Restucci said, “We are immensely proud that we have been able to help these young men progress into fulfilling careers as welders, starting with our mega project at Rabab Harweel, which is of vital strategic importance to the nation.
“This is another success story for our National Objectives programme which is all about creating meaningful and rewarding training and employment opportunities for Omanis. So far, we have been able to generate around 20,000 of these opportunities since 2011 and we are determined to do even more.”
The 6G programme offers an enhanced financial and retention package for participants and is the first in the region to have a TWI-accredited centre outside the UK. The aim is for the programme to serve as a benchmark for the entire oil and gas sector and other industries in the Sultanate.
The 195 men underwent their training at the RAY Skills Development’s Halban workshop in Muscat. Tim Bivens, Head of Welding at RAY Skills Development, said: “I am very proud to have been part of the National Objective to advance the welding skills of these young Omanis to 6G international standards. Not only have we influenced the young minds of these graduating students, we have also taught them, that with determination and ambition, anything is possible.
“All of these graduates deserve the utmost respect to have qualified to international 6G/TWI standards and they have a bright future ahead of them.”
Trainee Saood Al Habsi, 22, said, “The programme has changed my life a great deal. I have learnt many things. I have benefited from the time spent on this programme and learnt that working hard will give me many opportunities in future.”
And fellow recruit Asad Al Riyami, 27, added: “I have learnt so much and these skills will provide me with an excellent platform to launch a career in welding and welding inspection. This has been a tough course, but by working hard, I have achieved many things and made many friends.”
The 6G scheme has been supervised by PDO External Affairs Director Abdul-Amir Al Ajmi, whose role has recently been broadened to also lead the Company’s In-Country Value (ICV) programme to retain more of the oil and gas industry’s wealth in Oman. As well as training and job creation, he will also oversee efforts to establish robust and sustainable local supply chains by working closely with Omani businesses including Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
He said: “I am delighted to be appointed to this expanded role and am determined to build on the great work that has already been achieved in ICV, including the successful training of so many young Omanis as welders. We are already delivering many other significant projects and have more exciting initiatives in the planning stages, designed to secure long-term sustainable commercial benefits for the Sultanate,”
Another 200 trainees are scheduled to begin the next 6G course soon and interviews and assessments are currently taking place.