Building Job Skills Required by Extractives

  • While focusing on the high end of the skills range is typically expected to allow for well-paying jobs that produce external economies for the country, and can be an effective long-term employment growth strategy, in the short-term, there may be more return on investment from the targeting of lower skill jobs that are higher in number.
  • While many extractive industry companies conduct their own vocational training, providing significant benefits for the host country, it can be more advantageous if training is designed to meet the needs of the economy as a whole, rather than a specific extractive sector company. Cooperative approachestend to work particularly well in this context.
  • Training must also consider the changing nature of the work in extractive industries where increasing automation and digitization demand new skills of workers.

Case Studies

Key Resources

Topic Briefing

This subtopic covers the importance of building skills as well as the job skills and training required to meet the needs of extractives.

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The skill needs of the extractive industries are complex. One of the reasons for this is the choice of how to allocate resources to build the skills that citizens of the host country need to participate fully.

Governments often focus on the high end of the skills range since this is expected to allow for well-paying jobs that produce external economies for the country. This approach, while often useful for long term employment growth, runs the risk of not fully taking advantage of the opportunities that are available for lower skilled jobs, but which are nevertheless presently out of reach for the local population. In the short term, there may be more return on investment to target these lower skill jobs that may be high in number.

Jobs as technicians and as skilled workers often require vocational training which may not be available in the country or in the extractive industry project’s area of influence. Accordingly, many extractive industry companies conduct their own vocational training. While this provides benefits for the host country, it can be more advantageous if training is designed to meet the needs of the economy as a whole, rather than just the particular extractive sector company. Cooperative approaches have often worked well in this context.

Training also must consider the changing nature of the work in extractive industries where increasing automation and digitization demand new skills of workers. For more on the changing nature of the oil and gas industry see Understanding The Job Needs Of Extractives.

Finally, the training needs of the sectors where indirect or induced employment occurs should not be neglected, even if they often concern less qualified jobs. For example, the consumption spending of well-paid employees can be better captured if the host economy is able to provide high-quality hospitality services. Thus, even if hospitality services are not a core of extractive industry activity, skills development for those services are important to consider if they will result in significant revenue for the host economy.

While covered in more detail in the Supplying Extractives topic, training of Small and Medium Enterprises plays an important role in increasing employment through increased local procurement by extractive industry projects and operations. For more details on training for current and potential suppliers of extractive industries, see Building The Capacity Of Local Businesses.