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Developing the next generation
By Alison Paton HR and Business Support Manager

Turning a job into a career takes more than just a willing employee; employers too have to be prepared to put as much effort into identifying potential and developing staff if they expect to see results.

Let me tell you about Lesley-Anne. Three years ago we appointed her as a recruitment assistant in our Aberdeen office. It was evident very quickly that she had aspirations to develop her career and we saw the opportunity to work with her to set out a clear plan for her development.

Promoted to HSE technical assistant in less than a year, from there she moved on to become an HSE co-ordinator and then junior HSE advisor – her third promotion in as many years.

We supported her through training and formal accreditation, allowing her the flexibility to balance her day-to-day work with gaining her National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health and a Quality Management System internal auditor qualification amongst others via courses and distance learning at training centres and North East College Scotland.

She has flourished and is an integral part of our company and our ability to deliver quality services to our clients. But is Lesley-Anne’s story the exception?

The answer is no and the reason is very simple: Without good people we are not successful. Employers have a duty to encourage their staff to challenge themselves and develop new skills and expertise; to develop clear and defined development strategies so their employees can see an interesting and rewarding future ahead of them.

Companies must provide the opportunity for continuous learning to help employees improve their job performance and broaden their capabilities and competence through the provision of challenging work situations, experimental assignments, targeted learning programmes and coaching.

This is particularly relevant to a global industry like oil and gas where training and developing young engineers and other professionals is vitally important for many reasons. The next generation of industry experts need support, encouragement and the transfer of experience and expertise to grow into their roles in the industry.

As we are all only too aware the industry is cyclical and can veer from skills surplus to shortage in a short timeframe. To overcome this, employers can look to develop their people to aspire to positions in order to maintain the pipeline of talent.

Taking the aforementioned into account, developing people will aid retention and no matter the market conditions, no company wants to lose good people.

Ultimately, without employee development, we cannot achieve our company mission to provide integrated and innovative solutions to the oil and gas industry globally through our field developments and production operations expertise. Our young engineers bring fresh ideas, enthusiasm to try new approaches and challenge the status quo. Developing our people so that they grow with the company is essential to delivering our business plan and maintaining the reputation of our company.

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