UNDP and Ministry of Oil agree on New Long Term Partnership to Support Skills Development in the Oil and Gas Sector in Iraq

11 Dec 2011

Baghdad - The United Nations Development Programme and the Iraqi Ministry of Oil have signed a new two-year partnership for skills development and human resources management in the oil and gas sector. This partnership will also help support the expansion of the sector and its ability to create jobs for the rapidly growing Iraqi labour force.

The partnership will strengthen the capacity of the Training and Development Directorate of the Ministry of Oil to undertake surveys of the labour market, conduct training and needs assessments and design training policies and programmes in response to the increased demand for qualified labour in the oil and gas sector.  The partnership will also formalise dialogue between the Ministry and the private sector on skills upgrading, labour standards and human resources management.

Iraq is predicted to become one of the world's oil super powers in the coming years. Iraq has proven reserves of 143 billion barrels with a potential further 200 billion barrels, and production is predicted to increase from its current level of 2,6 million barrels per day to 12 million barrels per day by 2017. While accounting for 65% of Iraq’s GDP the oil sector currently employs only 1% of the total labour force. Iraq also has sizable gas reserves which are currently underutilized but are set to be harnessed to boost domestic electricity production.

“The human resources strategy that we will develop with UNDP complements the National Energy Strategy that the Government is preparing to secure sustainable expansion and high productivity in the oil and gas sector for which skilled labour is critical” said Iqdam Hashim, Director General of the Training and Development Directorate at the Ministry of Oil.  "We hope that other UN agencies like ILO, UNIDO and UNESCO will join this partnership to provide the necessary expertise to ministry staff and workers in the oil and gas sector" he added.

The work under this agreement will be coordinated through a committee chaired by the Ministry of Oil and co-chaired by UNDP and the Prime Minister’s Advisory Commission.  It will bring together national and international oil companies and trades union representatives.

"This partnership will not only contribute to skills development amongst those people working in the oil and gas sector in Iraq. It will also equip the Ministry of Oil and the private sector to create more jobs, and better jobs, for the fast growing Iraqi labour force including youth and women" said Peter Batchelor Country Director of UNDP Iraq.

Contact Information

Juliette Touma, Communication Officer
UNDP Iraq, Tel: +962 79 826 34 37, juliette.touma@undp.org

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