Oil and gas jobs in Pakistan are highly coveted because they provide competitive remuneration, excellent growth prospects and training opportunities. United Energy Pakistan (UEP) encourages hiring people from its concession communities within its workforce; to train local youth for petroleum jobs its runs the Operator Training Programme.
Only young people from the talukas in which UEP operates can be recruited for the two years training programme. At the commencement of the programme an Ad, seeking Intermediate level educated young people, is placed in major English, Urdu and local Sindhi newspapers. The ages of job applicants must be between 18 to 22 years.
All applicants for the programme undergo a rigorous written test and interview process. The written examination tests Mathematics, English, Technical and General knowledge. Only those who pass the written test in the top percentile are selected for an interview. The final selection rate for the Operator training programme is as low as 1% – only about 12-16 young men are selected from thousands of applicants.
So far, about 330 operators have been trained, at different levels, through the programme. This year, for the first time in the company’s history two batches of 16 operators were recruited.
Recruits are paid a salary from the first day of training. Professor Rafiq Kazi, from Mehran University, has been hired by UEP to teach the Trainee Operators. Boys are taught at a classroom built within UEP premises. Practical training is also conducted at UEP facilities.
The total cost per batch of operators is about US $ 350,000 plus accommodation costs- this money is part of UEP’s discretionary spend i.e. money spent on social investment in excess of the amounts stipulated by the Petroleum Concessions Agreement (PCA).
Many operators have gone on to become senior operations team leaders heading UEP’s production zones. Trained operators are not obliged to work for UEP. While some have moved out of Pakistan to work for other companies abroad most operators do choose to work for UEP. The programme hence provides an invaluable opportunity for local youth to train for petroleum jobs in Pakistan.
Applications for the Operator Training Programme are closed for this year. Information on the application process for the next batch of Trainee Operators will be advertised in local newspapers.