British training body OPITO has signed a landmark memorandum of understanding with the Iraq Ministry for Oil, Training and Development Directorate to help the war-torn country develop the skills and training necessary to enable exploitation of its hydrocarbon resources.
With Iraq gearing up to produce 12 million barrels of oil per day, OPITO estimates they will require a skilled workforce of around 600,000.
A unique, not-for-profit organisation, OPITO is wholly owned by the oil and gas industry and responsible for ensuring it has a safe, skilled and competent workforce. With operations in Aberdeen, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur, OPITO delivers standards, qualifications and workforce development frameworks used by employers in 30 countries.
Under the terms of the agreement signed in Amman, OPITO will work with the Ministry to understand the skills needs and provide specialist guidance and support to help the country build a world-class learning infrastructure. This will ensure that the people of Iraq can obtain the skills, knowledge and qualifications needed to access jobs in the country’s oil and gas industry for now and in the long-term future.
OPITO will also establish a fit-for-purpose workforce development framework for Iraq based on the global OPITO standards and qualifications. Initially the organisation will work on the development of four national oil training institutes in Baghdad, Tikrit, Kirkuk and Basrah.
David Doig, OPITO group chief executive, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for OPITO and acknowledgement of the high regard in which our standards are held globally. But more importantly this is a major step forward for the people of Iraq, who if they are to successfully re-build their country must create a safe, sustainable and profitable oil and gas industry.