Date: June 24, 2024

Closing the Skills Gap with Oil, Gas, and Mining Training and L&D

The oil, gas, and mining industry, are observing a significant transformation propelled by essential priorities: ensuring safety, advancing environmental sustainability, and embracing technological progress, notably in clean energy. According to industry reports, global investment in renewable energy surpassed that of fossil fuels for the first time in 2020, signaling a decisive momentum towards cleaner energy alternatives. With these industries transitioning towards more environmentally friendly practices, there is a growing urgency for L&D leaders to keep up with the change. 

Not only this, talent and learning leaders are also facing challenges posed by the talent crunch and skill challenges. A younger generation, preferring safer and less physically demanding roles, is moving away from traditional field positions, while experienced professionals consider retirement or career changes. In this context, the role of talent and L&D leaders in fostering organizational adaptability and strength becomes paramount. Specialized learning and development initiatives are crucial for equipping the workforce with the necessary skills to address evolving challenges, improve operational efficiency, and spur innovation. Effective L&D strategies ensure that employees are prepared to handle the complexities of modern industry demands, driving both performance and sustainable practices. Investing in these areas not only mitigates risks but also positions companies to thrive in a rapidly evolving landscape.

Top Learning and Development Challenges for Oil & Gas and Mining Companies

  1. Energy Transition Towards Green Portfolios: The oil and gas as well as mining sectors are in the midst of an energy transition with many companies working towards net-zero goals. Learning leaders must be at the forefront of this change by anticipating future workforce trends and learning needs. As companies move towards greener portfolios, L&D leaders must also think of ways to facilitate effective knowledge transfer within their organizations.
  1. Need for Digital Transformation: Digitalization is at the core of enabling organization-wide transformations as companies transition to greener strategies. For learning leaders, this is a great opportunity to transition to a digital learning ecosystem by enabling employees to learn in the flow of work. Digitalization is also key to mapping current and future skilling needs as well keep employees engaged as they navigate an uncertain future in their sector. 
  1. Health & Safety of Employees: Health, safety and environmental concerns continue to be a primary challenge in the energy and mining industries. Now more than ever, learning leaders must ensure that employees have a safe space to learn and practice countering HSSE challenges. With the advent of the pandemic, mental health of employees is also becoming an area of focus that HR and learning leaders can no longer ignore.
  1. Price & Demand Fluctuations & Volatility:  The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded the traditional price volatility and demand fluctuations of the energy sector. Moreover, the use of greener technologies and materials will continue to rise, challenging the core business models of these sectors. Learning leaders must remain tightly aligned with the business to ensure that the workforce is prepared for the challenges ahead.
  1. Workforce Trends & The Future of Work: According to Deloitte, an engaged workforce with new capabilities and high job satisfaction could be critical to realizing the energy transition and digital transformation goals of the industry. Moreover, there's a perceptible trend indicating that mining is not currently viewed as an aspirational industry by young technical talent. According to a McKinsey & Company survey, in the United States, there's been a 39 percent drop in mining graduations since 2016. The oil, gas, and mining industry also confronts a notable skills and talent shortage, amplified by an aging workforce and changing demographics. According to the Deloitte report, many mine workers are at least age 46 now, and nearly 50% of skilled engineers are reaching retirement age in the next decade. This combined with low recruitment numbers from younger generations means there is a danger of critical knowledge and skills being lost. Learning leaders must focus on upskilling, reskilling and redeploying the workforce as well as enable digital ways of working and flexibility to keep the workforce engaged.
  1. Disaster Management and Cyber Threats: With increasing digitalization, cybersecurity remains a key threat to supply chains and pipelines. Learning leaders must ensure that employees are aware of these threats to avoid breaches. Climate change like widespread wildfires and hurricanes continue to threaten the safety of this sector and learning leaders must ensure the highest level of preparedness through training.

Bridge the Skills Gap in Oil, Gas, and Mining Industry With NIIT’s Learning Solutions 

At NIIT, we understand that large global organizations in the oil & gas and mining sectors have unique challenges that require customized L&D solutions and services. Whether it is transitioning to clean energy or widespread automation or an imminent talent crunch, we help your L&D function stay one step ahead through targeted managed learning services designed to meet you where you are: 

Managed Learning Operations: Our comprehensive suite of Managed Learning Services delivers value on both sides of the L&D value equation for oil & gas and mining companies. On the one hand, we help you align L&D goals with business goals to deliver tangible business impact. On the other, we help you maximize L&D effectiveness and efficiency. Whether it is large-scale learning operations including administration or vendor management and strategic sourcing, our services are designed to work with the complexities of your industry. When it comes to large-scale learning operations, our goal is to provide you with a dedicated team that does all the heavy lifting so that your internal L&D teams can focus on strategic objectives and outcomes.

Customized Content Solutions: NIIT is one of the largest and most capable providers of custom content in the world. Our customized solutions cover all modalities and levels of learning. Whether it is scenario-based ethics and compliance training or advanced immersive learning for health and safety, we build customized learning solutions that are aligned with business outcomes. Our custom content solutions have enabled oil & gas and mining companies to deliver tangible outcomes like improved productivity, reduction in hazardous incidents and fatalities, reduced time to competence, and more engaging leadership training.

Dedicated Consultants and Transformation Office: We know that learning transformation is not a one-and-done activity, especially in a space that is going through large-scale and widespread transitions. Our dedicated team of embedded consultants and learning professionals are laser-focused on your journey of transformation. Whether it is advanced analytics and data insights through our Customer Experience Platform or focused strategic objectives, we partner with you to create and implement a detailed transformation roadmap aligned to your business goals.

Case Study: Reducing High Potential Hazards for Frontline Mining Workers 

Challenge: Keeping in mind the Zero Harm imperative, our customer wanted to develop learning interventions that addressed the principles of safety and induced behavioral change in the frontline workforce so that they would be more diligent about following safety measures while conducting and planning their daily work at an operation. The key challenge was to provide this training to learners in the flow of work at remote locations with limited access to technology. 

Solution: The company partnered with NIIT to develop a self-directed mobile learning experience. The course utilized a scenario-based training approach, presenting learners with common situational risks at different locations. The training was interactive, engaging, and delivered through multimedia, including augmented reality for an immersive experience. Learners accessed the training by scanning QR codes on posters distributed across the site.

Result: Our customer realized significant measurable benefits:  a reduction in High-Potential Incidents and Hazards (HPI and HPH) due to improved understanding and increased awareness of workplace risks and proper controls, along with a reduction in Lost Time Injuries (LTI) due to effective use of controls. The trained employees felt empowered to stop work if the appropriate controls were not in place. For instance, no High-Potential Incidents were reported for one of the mining locations in the three months following the course deployment. 

To learn more, download the case study

Outsource Your Oil, Gas and Mining Training & Learning to NIIT

A volatile and uncertain market directly impacts the oil & gas industry. Now, more than ever, L&D leaders in oil and gas need to prepare for these challenges. At NIIT, we can help you navigate the complexities of industry transformation in the oil & gas and mining sectors through transformative L&D services and solutions. Our expertise in the oil & gas and mining industries is the result of deep partnerships with leading companies that span over a decade. Our 100% long-term renewal rate with these companies reflects our deep partnership at both the strategic and operational levels. 

Learn more about how you can navigate the transformations in the industry with our managed learning services.