VISION FOR THE NATION

Oman 2019 | ENERGY | INTERVIEW

Takatuf's institutes instOG and TPO support the Sultanate's vision of securing a skilled, competent, and job-ready workforce for the oil and gas, energy, and related industries.

Ibrahim Al Harthi
BIOGRAPHY
A founding member and key contributor to its success, Ibrahim Al Harthi oversees Takatuf as its Managing Director. He is an MBA degree holder, whose professional background is rooted in diverse HR and management roles, enabling a leveraged accumulated experience to support Takatuf’s insightful and powerful business solutions. Al Harthi sits on the boards of TPO and instOG.

How is Takatuf involved in helping the oil and gas industry reach its target of supplying 5,000 new jobs to Omanis?

Takatuf has been an ambassador for a new business belief where human capital is not just about investing in people and training them, but seeing them as strategic drivers of change. Takatuf was formed as a people consulting company five years ago, and in a short time, it has established a reputation for providing sound strategic thinking and effective human capital solutions. In this regard, we have deployed a number of these solutions to help many organizations in the energy sector in Oman achieve their hiring targets of Omanis. With Omanization high on the agenda, one of the key challenges that companies face is meeting the targets whilst being mindful of making it sustainable and effective. Omanization is not just about numbers, but about assigning the right people to the right roles and adding value to people functions rather than burdening it. Takatuf has identified two distinct types of Omanization. One is linked to growth and job creation as a result of progress. Second, for organizations that are not looking at an aggressive evolution curve, the challenge is to identify functions and roles that qualified Omani nationals can take to replace existing resources.

What training do new Omani employees need?

One of the core themes formulated in Vision 2020 was the development of human resources and capabilities of Omani nationals to keep pace with technical development, manage the changes therein with efficiency, and be prepared for the dynamic domestic and global environment. Being part of the Oman Oil Group, Takatuf shares this vision and national agenda. Takatuf is not just a consulting company, but a strategic investor in the human capital requirements for the nation. We have partnered with Petrofac to set up Takatuf Petrofac Oman Institute (TPO), a new purpose-built training institute in Oman. TPO will deliver a range of world-class, internationally accredited technical training programs, tailored to meet the needs of the industry. Similarly, we have partnered with Schlumberger to set up the Oman Institute for Oil & Gas (instOG), a premier state-of-the-art institute dedicated to training and development of individuals in the upstream oil and gas industry. Aside of these business focused people development programs, Takatuf has also established a successful national initiative, the Takatuf Scholars Program, which is aimed at identifying and building the next generation of young Omani leaders through a global academic enrichment program. To date, the program has helped provide close to 350 graduates, with over 100 of them receiving international scholarships.

How does the public sector compare to the private sector in Omanization advances?

In well-established, government-owned organizations, Omanization is not a major issue; in fact, Omanis lead at all ranks. And it is working in these companies because they have put in enough effort to develop their people and make them ready to take those roles. However, the reality in some sectors in the private sector is not the same. The institutes that we built are expected to play a major role in providing highly qualified, competent, and job-ready local workforce that can fill the gap in the private sector as well as grow Omanization targets, especially in highly skilled jobs.

In which sectors of the economy outside of oil and gas is there a need for training programs?

As part of its economic diversification plan, the government has identified a number of key non-oil sectors to focus on in the next phase, including tourism, mining, construction, logistics, and manufacturing. Many of these sectors will require a competent local workforce to lead so they can achieve high Omanization targets at all levels, hence the importance of developing comprehensive solutions involving designing effective training programs, changing the mindset toward work, and, in some sectors, a regulation change.