In Latin America, a Company required the provision of H2S and CO2 safety services for ten offshore drilling rigs with an extremely tight timeline. The operator decided to choose a safety solutions provider based in North America to provide the services. As a new player in the region, a major challenge was to comply with operator and government requirements to have 60% local content at project launch.

A methodology of accelerated nationalization of the workforce was put in place. This methodology covers all the elements of sourcing, recruiting, onboarding, integrating and operating phases for any new worker joining the new operation. With a mobilization of local language-speaking process excellence supervisors from its African operations, this was a key initiative to the accelerated success of this methodology. During the transition period, the African supervisors conducted an intensive New Hire Program for all local nationals. The training was in addition to those required by the government and the operator. The technical team also customized and localized the corporate Quality Management System (QMS) that was delivered in time for the training period.

Within the first month of operation, 75% local content was achieved. Through on-the-job training and mentoring by the African supervisors, the Nationals quickly transitioned into Onsite H2S / CO2 Technicians. In turn, the African Supervisors transitioned into Quality Control Supervisors. The mobilization of the African supervisors from a similar offshore safety project was aimed at overcoming initial language and cultural barriers. Learning from previous country start-up experience, miscommunication and misunderstanding due to language and cultural barriers has the potential to cause unnecessary cost and project delays. Twelve months after project launch, 100% local content was achieved with the capacity to support further expansion.

The company developed a nationalization program designed to promote career development and core competency progression to retain the local, national workforce, increase loyalty and continuously improve safety standards wherever they operate. This case study discusses the value of a adopting a sound local content program with a view to sustaining a long- term presence in the region.

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