Exclusive Interview with Fadi Jawad, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Eurotech Training and Consulting.
Fadi Jawad, CEO of award-winning Eurotech Training and Consulting, disclosed that his company is currently establishing a petroleum training centre in Lebanon to help develop Lebanese national skills, qualifying Lebanese job seekers and workers to work within in the national petroleum sector in an efficient and safe manner.
Established in 1998, Eurotech Training and Consulting Company consolidated its position as a market leader specialised in training and development of manpower across all industries, with an impressive track record in servicing the oil and gas sector, particularly in the GCC region.
Eurotech is Training Partner at the 4th Lebanon International Oil & Gas Summit. The LIOG team discussed with the CEO of the company his perception, future plans and commitment to Lebanon’s oil and gas industry.
How do you evaluate the potential of Lebanon’s petroleum sector?
The fact that Lebanon has joined the club of petroleum producing countries brings along a lot of hope on various economic levels - from the very start of exploration to drilling, all the way through to the production phase and the creation of related industries like petrochemicals.
By the time exploration starts, the national currency, for example, is expected to be stronger especially if the discovered quantities are promising.
The start of the drilling phase is also expected to bring in foreign companies, which will employ a sizable labour force that will need a variety of services and facilities like transportation, housing, medical, food and more. This will increase the flow of foreign currencies and strengthen the Lebanese treasury, as well as stimulate the country’s economic growth. In the production phase, the sector will certainly create a huge number of job opportunities, which will help eliminate unemployment. This, in turn, will improve Lebanon’s international financial standing bringing Lebanon to a new era of wealth which I hope will boost the Lebanese economy and eliminate the burden of budget deficits.
Do you have any assessment of the required investments in the learning and development sector for this nascent industry? What can drive the growth in investments?
Based on my experience in the field of 'Takweet' and 'Saudization' and the investments in the nationalisation of the workforce, this sector has attracted millions of dollars to these countries and created jobs for nationals, contributing to the elimination of unemployment.
I believe that the nationalisation of the Lebanese workforce in the sector will generate nearly $20 million in investments. We estimate that the sector will secure about 25,000 jobs in the first period and the number will increase based on the size of the discoveries at the beginning of the drilling phase.
The real investment, however, will be in the jobs to be created in the Lebanese oil and gas industry. The Lebanese labour market in the petroleum sector will create a huge number of new job opportunities including operators, drillers, welders, geologists, maintenance workers, HSSE, and storage technicians, in addition to exploration and production-related jobs.
In addition to the direct hires, the sector will create a parallel labour market through companies supporting the industry from the private sector. This will also contribute to finding other job opportunities for Lebanese youth, and I believe this is where the real investment will be.
What role can your company play in developing the oil and gas sector in Lebanon?
Eurotech offers a multitude of training and development programs which cover all disciplines in the field of oil and gas. Throughout the years, we trained a large number of workers in major petroleum companies in the GCC countries.
We specialize in this sector and offer programs covering various areas including upstream and midstream operations as well as downstream, both onshore and offshore.
For example, we gained a long experience training workers in the refineries of Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) as well as other companies like the Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), Saudi Aramco, Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Company (TAKREER), Qatar’s RasGas and other major international oil companies, some of them are classified among the top ten in the world. From that point, we are currently establishing a petroleum training centre in Lebanon to help develop a Lebanese national workforce, which will be well qualified to work within in the national petroleum sector.
What is the level of awareness for your business? Do you expect an awareness issue and how does Lebanon tend to approach it?
Currently, Lebanon lacks the human resources capable of immediately engaging in the oil and gas labour market due to the fact that Lebanon never had an upstream petroleum sector. Also there is a lack of expertise and know-how with the current employees in the sector.
Therefore, Eurotech's role today is to raise the awareness among Lebanese youth and provide them with the necessary knowledge and practical experience through a plan of action that we have developed to overcome the shortage in Lebanese human resources.
What are your expectations from your participation in the 4th edition of the Lebanon International Oil & Gas Summit?
I think the most important thing that this summit and subsequent conferences will hold is to allow existing visions and plans to become a reality through real job opportunities, especially after the award of exploration licenses to the consortium which is made up of three companies.
I believe that starting today, all conferences will witness the signing of international and local contracts and partnerships to provide support services to the industry.
From my experience in the Gulf countries, I expect that the Lebanese market will host a large number of international companies and businessmen. Let us be ready, and let’s get prepared for the new reality.
Based on your experience, what are your recommendations to other industry leaders?
After the signing of EPAs with the consortium of three international oil majors to explore blocks 4 and 9 out of ten maritime blocks, Lebanon is expected to start the journey to join the club of the oil-producing countries. Consequently, a large number of international companies and businessmen are expected to seek the opportunity to enter the Lebanese market.
This will certainly mark the beginning of a new economic era that will have important implications for the economic growth of Lebanon.
In this regard, I advise all companies and businessmen who intend to expand their business into the Lebanese market, to familiarize themselves with the legislations and laws and study the work environment to start on the right foot.
How do you describe the activities of your company in general? And are you establishing a branch in Lebanon?
After 20 years of experience in training, Eurotech has developed training programs based on international standards and built around the actual skills needed in the labor market according to internationally recognised certificates. Our programs cover the actual oil and gas training needs in all the GCC countries. It also offers various training and development programs covering all technical disciplines in this sector.
Over the past 20 years, we have trained more than 70,000 employees in the oil and gas sectors in many countries including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Sudan, Oman and Bahrain. Our programs are conducted through workshops, training courses, and on-the-job training within corporate offices or through external courses to get our trainees to learn about international experiences within their own fields.
We are currently establishing the first petroleum training centre in Lebanon to offer long-term and short-term training courses that will benefit the labor market, as well as those who intend to work in this sector according to their individual expertise and intended field of specialisation.
This will certainly contribute to meeting the requirement of employing Lebanese nationals at 80 percent of the total workforce. We will also work towards qualifying Lebanese youth to work in the petrochemicals sector. This will allow the local economy to boost the added value of its petroleum sector, which will also become a major source of additional revenues.