R. Abdullayev: “By the end of the year, foreign oil and gas companies staff in Azerbaijan will be 90% nationalized”
A meeting dedicated to the 5th anniversary of the Staff Nationalization Program in the oil and gas industry of Azerbaijan took place on December 5, 2018. Rovnag Abdullayev, President of SOCAR, Vusal Huseynov, Head of State Migration Service, Gary Jones, BP’s Regional President for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey and other officials attended the event.
Success Stories, a film about the Staff Nationalization Program’s achievements, was screened during the event.
The Staff Nationalization program was established in 2013, following instructions given by President Ilham Aliyev of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The objective of the program was to enhance the knowledge and skills base and level of professionalism of the national employees in the oil and gas sector. In the last five years, SOCAR, in close cooperation with the governmental agencies and relevant executive authorities of Azerbaijan, has undertaken a large-scale activity aimed at nationalizing the oil and gas industry staff with a focus on the training of specialists involved in oil and gas operations in Azerbaijan. The training courses were organized to gradually replace the foreign personnel employed in the country’s oil and gas projects with national resources. The Baku High Oil School, as well as five training centers that meet international standards, have been established to educate highly skilled specialists and a professional workforce. The nationalization program is implemented in accordance with the adopted procedures and projects.
Addressing the meeting, Rovnag Abdullayev, President of SOCAR said: “Today we are reporting to the President of Azerbaijan, the author of the staff nationalization program, who has been following its progress during the last five years, that joint efforts by the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, the State Migration Service and SOCAR, have successfully achieved its goal. The oil and gas companies operating in Azerbaijan have shown great commitment to the program. BP Azerbaijan and its contractors and subcontractors, who had 77% nationalized staff in 2013, have raised this number to 90% in 2018.”
Gary Jones, BP’s Regional President for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, said: “We are proud to have achieved this target in cooperation with the Government, SOCAR and other co-venturers. This is part of our long-term strategy and commitment to enhancing nationalization of staff and development of workforce involved in our operations in Azerbaijan. We are pleased to see the successful outcome of our joint efforts and are committed to further cooperation in the course of Azerbaijan’s transformation into a regional human resource hub for the oil and gas industry.”
Then Vusal Huseynov, head of State Migration Service addressed the event. They said the oil and gas companies operating in Azerbaijan have achieved success in their staff nationalization, and this will make the presence of local experts in the transnational oil and gas companies more effective, creating a new labor market for improved employment levels within the country.
• In accordance with the instruction of the country’s leadership, SOCAR and BP, as operator of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli and Shah Deniz projects, signed a protocol on a five-year staff nationalization plan (2014-2018) on November 14, 2013. SOCAR also signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection on February 11, 2014 to improve the efficiency of the implementation of staff nationalization plan.
• In order to improve the efficiency of staff nationalization and to coordinate the work in this field, by the resolution (No124) of the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan dated March 14, 2016, SOCAR joined the Commission on labor migration quota.
• BP Azerbaijan had 58% nationalized staff in 2005, this reached 77% in 2013, 89% in 2017 and 90% in 2018.
• Shah Deniz-2, the new largest project of Azerbaijan’s oil and gas industry, targeted 30-50% nationalization for engineering technical staff and 70% for workforce, but achieved 91% nationalization.
• BP currently has more than 2550 Azerbaijani national employees including:
– 1150 national professionals working offshore and onshore;
– 350 senior level leaders;
– 510 mid-level leaders;
– Five Azerbaijani national members of the Regional Leadership Team;
– 500 female national employees;
– 200 mid- and senior level female leaders;
• 300 Challengers have been recruited in Azerbaijan since 2013 – BP’s Challenge programme attracts talented graduates and develops their technical skills.
• Since 2013 SOCAR and BP have helped hundreds of national students receive a higher education in Western universities.