Collaboration key to preparing energy transition workforce, experts say

Experts say the strategic alliance among industry, education and government serves as the cornerstone for building a skilled, resilient and future-ready energy workforce in Houston. Image via houston.org

As energy companies and the Houston region look to prepare and develop the workforce necessary to support the energy transition, experts say collaboration among companies, educational institutions, the federal government and other organizations is fundamental.

Experts from across the Houston region discussed how organizations and companies are preparing the workforce of the future during a panel discussion at the Greater Houston Partnership’s UpSkill Works Forum on Aug. 3.

According to a BCG analysis, most Houston-based oil and gas workers will rely on just nine capability sets by 2050. “To ensure they have the right mix of competencies for the future, oil and gas companies will need to carry out a skills-based mapping exercise, starting with defining the expertise and capabilities needed to succeed in their chosen business areas, markets, and geographies,” a BCG publication on the energy transition states.

Maria Suarez-Simmons, senior director of energy policy for Energy Workforce & Technology Council, encourages companies to take a “holistic view” of the occupations they offer and adjust them to the needs of the future of energy. Saurez-Simmons added that energy companies should create messaging that communicates there are opportunities for all, not solely engineers.

Scott Marshall, senior group director for the people team in the Americas at Worley, said “We are in the transition today”, adding that companies should start reaching out to students at a much younger age to showcase available career paths if they are going to meet the demand. Worley offers several early career programs, including a global graduate development programs and STEM workshops for children.

Stacy Putman, manager of advocacy, leadership, workforce development and strategic projects at INEOS, shared how INEOS collaborates with schools, working with K – 12th-grade teachers to educate them on opportunities in sustainability, energy transition and manufacturing. Putnam also stressed the importance of being involved in an employee’s career journey.

In alignment with this strategic evolution, a growing number of companies are adopting skills-based hiring as a means to diversify their talent pool. This shift from the traditional reliance on four-year college degrees highlights the need for specialized skills aligned with the demands of the energy transition.

Raul Camba, managing director and Latin America lead at Accenture, helps energy companies navigate the energy transition but also focuses on the industry’s adaptability within its operations, strategies and workforce. Camba said another tool to close the skills gap is to identify adjacent skills or related and transferable skills a worker already has and build upon them. Camba said forums like this one where employers can openly share the tools and resources they’re utilizing will help companies find innovative solutions and colleges and universities design programs based on the region’s needs.

Experts say the strategic alliance among industry, education and government serves as the cornerstone for building a skilled, resilient and future-ready energy workforce in Houston.

------

This article originally ran on the Greater Houston Partnership's Houston Energy Transition Initiative blog. HETI exists to support Houston's future as an energy leader. For more information about the Houston Energy Transition Initiative, EnergyCapitalHTX's presenting sponsor, visit htxenergytransition.org.

Trending News

A View From HETI

The combined technology portfolios will accelerate the introduction of promising early-stage decarbonization technology. Photo via Getty Images

SLB announced its plans to combine its carbon capture business with Norway company, Aker Carbon Capture.

Upon completion of the transaction, which is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of this year, SLB will own 80 percent of the combined business and ACC will own 20 percent.

According to a SLB news release, the combined technology portfolios will accelerate the introduction of promising early-stage decarbonization technology.

“For CCUS to have the expected impact on supporting global net-zero ambitions, it will need to scale up 100-200 times in less than three decades,” Olivier Le Peuch, CEO of SLB, says in the release. “Crucial to this scale-up is the ability to lower capture costs, which often represent as much as 50-70% of the total spend of a CCUS project.

The International Energy Agency estimates that over one gigaton of CO2 every year year will need to be captured by 2030 — a figure that scales up to over six gigatons by 2050.

"We are excited to create this business with ACC to accelerate the deployment of carbon capture technologies that will shift the economics of carbon capture across high-emitting industrial sectors,” Le Peuch continues.

SLB is slated to pay NOK 4.12 billion — around $379.4 million — to own 80 percent of Aker Carbon Capture Holding AS, which owns ACC, per the news release, and SLB may also pay up to NOK 1.36 billion over the next three years, depending on business performance.

Trending News