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Thursday, 7 August 2014

South Africa: Skills needed to grease growth of oil and gas sector

South Africa is ideally positioned to become a major hub in the booming oil and gas sector on the continent, but a huge global shortage of skills exists in the industry, especially at middle management and executive levels, says Guy Lundy, a principal at global executive search firm Odgers Berndtson.

While local universities do produce “excellent” geologists and engineers, Lundy says the country also needs to encourage training in other relevant professions such as accountants, lawyers and tax specialists who understand the oil and gas industry.

He says universities should offer more industry-related courses and attract students from all over Africa and companies active in the sector need to focus on mentorship to enable the upskilling of young people.

Lundy suggests that government play a crucial role in opening up South Africa to foreign skills – companies should be incentivised to facilitate the entry of skilled foreign management, who can ensure the transfer of skills to local employees.