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‘Shortage of talent will affect Africa’s oil and gas industry’

Research by Oil Review Africa has revealed that the shortage of local and international talent, if not addressed properly, will not only affect exploration and production of oil and gas across Africa, but eventually the financial viability of projects in the continent

As the African oil and gas sector continues to grow, there will be a need for highly skilled engineers and talented leaders.

While traditional production and reserves remain in countries like Nigeria, Libya and Angola, new hot spots have emerged in Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda.

In each country, these new opportunities have made companies and governments to rethink how they attract the right kind of people in the right places to take advantage of these potential game changing discoveries. Even as poor physical infrastructure, investment constraints and regulatory frameworks contribute to challenges facing the industry, another common and key barrier to growth has been the availability of skilled and competent professionals.

The shortage of international and local talent, if not addressed properly, can affect not only exploration and production, but eventually the financial viability of oil and gas projects across Africa. An ageing workforce coupled with highly specialised roles and low supply of qualified engineers and managers have lead to this serious situation so much so that replacing the ageing workforce with a highly motivated, skilled and loyal staff has become the number one priority for many companies in the continent.

Managing the shortage of senior staff coupled with developing the skills level of local talent will be the key to addressing the challenge. Creating workplaces where employees feel aligned and engaged with their roles and the organisation will be a highly effective way to retain staff.

Additionally, understanding how engagement levels are influenced by an organisation’s culture, strategy execution, leadership, structure and processes are important steps. It lets employees take ownership of their own development and it underscores the link between individual performance and business results.

As the talent crunch in the African oil and gas sector increasingly takes hold, companies need to meet this challenge head on or face a talent crisis — in the office and in the field.

This has led to the establishment of the HR Forum: Oil & Gas, which will debut in Dubai on 23–25 November. This timely forum will provide a platform for oil and gas companies to debate not only these challenges, but more importantly, the solutions.

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