A group of Qatari employees at the country’s largest oil producer have completed the latest stage of a novel programme that aims to develop the leaders of tomorrow. Maersk Oil’s Qatari Development Programme is open to employees early in their careers and bridges the gap between the academic environment of university and the skills needed to develop outstanding workplace performance.
Maersk Oil began the two-year Qatari Development Programme in November last year, as part of its revitalised Qatarisation Strategy, which includes a commitment to quadruple the number of Qataris in leadership and senior specialist positions by 2017.
Sheikh Faisal bin Fahad Al-Thani, Maersk Oil Qatar’s Deputy Managing Director, said: “Qatarisation is a core business priority for Maersk Oil. We’ve made great strides in the past five years by doubling the number of Qatari employees and increasing those with a Bachelor’s degree, but we’re committed to attracting, developing and retaining even more Qatari leaders in the future. Schemes like the Qatari Development Programme will help us do just that.”
The Qatari Development Programme includes a mixture of formal modules, and what are known as action learning sets, where smaller groups meet to discuss workplace issues, typically around prioritisation, problem solving and managing workloads.
One of the programme’s participants, process engineer Aisha Ahmad Al-Nuaimi, has welcomed the development of so-called softer skills. She said: “As an engineer, this is something different – it gives us skills to develop the other side of our personality, leadership skills, and communication with our colleagues. While companies usually focus on technical training, the Qatari Development Programme is unique, and it shows how Maersk Oil Qatar is keen to develop employees.”
Joanna Rawbone, Director of Scintillo – a specialist UK-based learning development company – is assisting Maersk Oil with the Qatari Development Programme. She said: “The action learning sets encourage the fourteen participants to be more resourceful when it comes to problem solving, so instead of always looking to their manager, they can work through issues by themselves or with colleagues. This benefits them in their development as possible future leaders and also it ensures that Maersk Oil gains a skilled, enthusiastic and more diverse band of potential leaders who can propel the business forward.”
The Qatari Development Programme is rooted in an exhaustive 12-month study which included a survey of employees and detailed mapping and analysis of best practice in Qatar and abroad.
Sheikh Jassim Al-Thani, Maersk Oil Qatar’s Head of Qatarisation, said: “The two-year Qatari Development Programme is a large investment by Maersk Oil in young Qataris, but it’s clearly paying off. The programme is a key pillar of our Qatarisation Strategy – we found that the first two years of employment was a critical period to develop Qatari employees and set career paths. Ultimately we want to provide faster, more-structured career development.”
One participant, engineer Hussam Al-Qatouni: said: “As an engineer, I think this programme will help my development, as it takes me from the technical side to the day-to-day aspect. If anyone thinks that their degree without skills in other areas will guarantee their development, I think this is wrong. We need to gain skills on how to manage our time, internal communications with our colleagues and managers, as well as other important areas.”
Thursday, May 22- 2014 @ 10:29 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.