02.12.2005
PROGRAMME FOR THE LUCKY

Novoye Pokoleniye, №48 (392)

By Amina DZHALILOVA

Imagine a workplace, where you not only have a good salary and good working conditions, but also the regular opportunities to improve your qualification, and for that the leading professors – graduates of Oxford and Harvard are invited, and the classes are organised without interruption from production. Imagine that such programmes allow you taking a higher position. Not many of us have such opportunities. It is hard to get rid of jealousy to such lucky people.

The government initiated the Personnel Nationalisation Programme. The idea was the following – “so that our fields allowed earning wages to Kazakh people, so that subsoil development brought fruits to the country citizens.” Oil companies with the participation of foreign capital, KPO among the first were happy to embrace the idea. This programme is beneficial to them too. It is in the following – “transfer of professional experience and advanced technologies to Kazakhs is the guarantee of successful development of fields and usage of their potential for the good of Kazakhstan and the foreign investors themselves. ”Thinking this way the authorities represented by KazMunaiGas and oil companies started programme implementation.

NP note: According to the Personnel Nationalisation Programme in 2002 among the management personnel there was 7 % Kazakhs, in 2003 – 11 %, in 2004 – 18%, in 2005 – they promised 22%. However, according to Personnel Development and Nationalisation Section Head Nina Kuzmina, 23% level has been reached. And by the end of 2007 this number should reach 40%, but based on the activeness of our citizens, the number will be greater than that.

The Personnel Nationalisation Programme is most successful at Karachaganak field. The management realized from the beginning that personnel nationalisation is a necessary thing, although expensive. The money saved from specialist training will turn into problems tomorrow. This is why the best teachers are invited, often Kazakhs serve internships abroad. Various types of specialists improve their qualifications – office employees, lawyers, and production workers – plant and field workers. We have attended the diploma award ceremony to 48 oilmen, who successfully graduated from a 2-year programme called Supervisory Management Programme (SMP). On the way back from Aksai we have met a girl who works as a reporting specialist at Karachaganak, she flew to Almaty for a week long programme in order to develop additional skills. Moreover, company’s press service informed that at present 4 Kazakh employees of oil engineering and collector development department are improving their qualification in Kazakh-British Technical University. Six more specialists of Human Resources Department of KPO continue training under the programme developed by Chartered Institute for Personnel Development, and 33 employees of KPO study financial management under the programme of British Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

After the 2-year SMP training graduates (most of which are mature men with a long field experience) presented the results at the official diploma award ceremony. Organisers decided to refuse from traditional reports in Power Point format and suggested having a conversation. Programme graduates had the opportunity to tell about their impressions. Many of them said that first they regarded the training as a chance to have a rest, but it was not so. The first reaction was discomfort, or even shock. Programme Director Jennifer Cock (Oxford alumnus, PhD and expert of world level, whose authority is recognised by the management of many transnational corporations), who developed the programme based on many years’ experience of teaching in many countries, including CIS, is glad to hear such reactions. According to her, the programme is aimed at breaking stereotypes, and if a person feels comfortable, it means something is going wrong. Management training can be compared to training in a gym, first muscles ache, and body is sore, and the result is strong body and great feeling.

Graduates like Jennifer for her talent, professionalism and communication skills. However, this woman with lively eyes and relaxed manners has power and charisma. She is one who achieves what she wants and does it efficiently. She does not use usual way, she invents. KPO management knows whom to invite.

One of the graduates Bagitzhan Abitov, superintendent of Production Department tells “When I came to the programme, I though I knew everything or almost everything. And I was behaving accordingly. I did not understand why I was in the same group as people I did not know. Soon I realized that people I know would not give me realistic assessment of my qualities. I found out many new things about myself. It became clear that if situation cannot be changes, you have to change. I understood that even if a person is very smart, he would not do what a team can do. You see a new person.”

His colleague Konstantin Li who holds a similar position did not tell about himself and showed a proof of training effectiveness. He addressed to SMP graduates: “2 years ago we used to be operators. Raise your hand those who remained in that position, who was not promoted.”

Only one hand was raised, and no other proof was necessary. One of the talented and promising Kazakhs Nurzhan Kamalov has already achieved a lot in the company - he is the Corporate Affairs & HSE Controller. Other KPO employees hope to achieve similar success. Inside the company contests are conducted for the replacement of vacant positions.

Sometimes one has to apply several times. Sometimes, one can grow 3 positions in 2 years. The management encourages the graduates for growth. For example, KPO General Director Paolo Campelli was straightforward: “You have to understand that it is not enough to simply work your 8 or 12 hours. You have to improve. Promise that you will apply the obtained knowledge on workplace and share experience with your colleagues and subordinates. I am proud of you.” Summing up, one can say that oil sooner or later will deplete. But the oil epoch will continue at least 50 more years, create many generations of professional of world level, the country will have a culture of serious approach to the work and maybe oil sector will make Kazakhstan one of the scientifically developed countries applying newest technologies in production and business management.