Difficulty in finding technically qualified local resources that fit the drilling specific industry requirements is a global reality. This challenge also applies when searching for technically qualified expatriate resources in the global market especially in these days of unprecedented surge in drilling activity. With more owners chasing a small pool of experienced qualified technical staff the situation is attractive for the employee in the short term but is not helping the industry and certainly not fulfilling sustainability aspirations. The situation is further complicated due the fact that the skills demanded by some positions in the drilling industry are not typically taught in universities and colleges. Training institutions are few and the demand remains high.

With governments of oil producing countries placing emphasis on national content quotas to ensure that a significant number of their citizens are employed within their country in critical positions a solution needs to be found, it has to be fast.

Taking a leaf out of the shipping industry approach that has for decades trained the officers using well established apprenticeship programs, NDC put in place a robust program of training employees for these difficult to recruit positions using a combination of classroom, practical and on-the-job training while treating these employees as apprentices, thus ensuring that the integrity of operations. Once fully trained, assessed and ready for assuming operational roles, the apprentices were inducted on rigs for a defined period and assessed by experienced mentors till they were finally put in place for independent operations.

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