Training Programs

At a Glance
  • To lay the foundation for broader economic diversification in a workforce, it is necessary to create skills and competencies that are transferable across various sectors in an economy.
  • Even when training in skills directly matches the needs of extractive projects, the benefits may be short-lived. For example, the skills of the mechanical, process, and electrical engineering professions are used primarily during the project construction phase, after which demand drops significantly.
  • Cooperation between government and industry will increase the probability that costly training investment will continue to provide significant benefits long after it has met immediate project needs.
  • Governments can guide companies’ investments in training through fiscal incentives.

Case Studies

Key Resources

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Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET): Model for Addressing Skills Shortage in Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry

This article provides empirical evidence on the importance of technical and vocational educational training (TVET) as a method of addressing ...

Transformation in the South African Mining Industry - Looking Beyond the Employment Equity Scorecard

This resource provides information on the challenges facing the South African mining industry with respect to skills qualifications, and ...

Cooperative Vocational Training in the Mineral Resource Sector

This resource provides a brief introduction to the Cooperative Vocational Training Project in Mongolia. The project is aimed at improving ...

Topic Briefing

Skills development in and around extractive industries involves a combination of pre- employment training, on-the-job learning, and the upgrading of skills and competencies through continuous professional development and further education. The challenge is to create skills and competencies that are required by extractive industries—but are also transferable to other sectors, thus helping to lay a foundation for broader economic diversification in a workforce. This transferability of skills is important to keep in mind as new projects are built. Many mechanical, process, and electrical engineering skills are used primarily during the construction phase, and demand drops significantly thereafter—especially for oil and gas projects.

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Both government and industry, therefore, need to adopt a flexible approach to worker training. Governments need to accept that hiring foreign employees are often necessary at higher skill levels, and more generally during the early stages of operation while local employees are being trained. At the same time, extractive industries need to proactively define , and work to create rising levels of local employment.

This said, direct training for employees in the extractive industries is typically organized by the companies themselves, due to the specialized nature of the knowledge and skills needed. However, in some cases, training may be organized in cooperation with local education ministries and authorities. In developing countries, these authorities often lack the necessary resources required to build the appropriate institutions and may hesitate to invest if the need is seen as temporary and/or limited to extractive industries.

Cooperation between industry and government will increase the probability that costly training facilities will continue to exist long after they have met immediate project needs. This has the added benefit of contributing to a skills pool that can be drawn upon by other extractive companies, as well as companies operating outside the industrial sector.

Governments can also guide companies’ investment in training through fiscal incentives, such as providing tax deductions on skills training, cofounding coordinated investments in the TVET system, and facilitating the establishment of industrywide training facilities.

A notable example of an industry wide training facility is the Industrial and Mining Training Center (Centro de Entrenamiento Industrial y Minero)[1], discussed in more detail under the Direct Jobs.

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[1] International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), Chile: The Challenge of Mineral Wealth: Using Resource Endowments to Foster Sustainable Development (London, UK: ICMM, March 2007).