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TD Magazine Article

A Young Workforce Is at the Core of Training

One company is investing in its young professionals and embracing their talents by providing specialized L&D programs.

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Fri Jun 14 2024

A Young Workforce Is at the Core of Training
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Saudi Aramco – Technical Services Professional Academy: 2024 BEST Award Winner, #2

Saudi Aramco, a state-owned petroleum and natural gas company, is investing in its young professionals and embracing their talents by providing specialized L&D programs. With more than 70,000 employees, professional development is at the forefront of upskilling this dynamic workforce to ensure the optimization of the company's industrial capabilities and drive the technological innovation it expects from an industry leader.

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The organization's professional personnel includes engineers, scientists, project managers, logistics specialists, and IT developers. Saudi Aramco's Technical Services Professional Academy (TSPA) governs and facilitates professional development. It uses more than 360 detailed technical competency maps, called CMaps, to prepare and qualify employees for their targeted roles.

CMaps define the skills and competencies for individual contributors across the company's functional domains, including engineering, project management, procurement and supply chain, and digital and information technology. TSPA conducts analyses to identify emerging roles and functions that need CMaps, such as digital transformation, carbon capture, environmental biodiversity, new energies, data science, machine learning, and digital robotics.

By laying out structured development plans, CMaps can track learning progress through four distinct phases: awareness, fundamental application, skilled application, and mastery. Each map details the required knowledge and skills professionals need to perform the job, and it recommends development activities to achieve proficiency.

To create each map, TSPA's specialized team first engages in-house technical advisors and subject matter experts to define knowledge and capabilities for each role as well as outline learning content and development opportunities. After review sessions with SMEs, TSPA revises each CMap and shares them with senior management. Upon approval, the team uploads the CMaps into the learning management system so employees can track their learning and growth.

The company assigns each worker a CMap as well as a mentor to support their development journey. As employees work through their CMaps, they complete self-assessments and receive evaluations from their mentors that pinpoint skills gaps and recommend online and in-person courses, certifications, advanced degree programs, and other development activities.

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To boost the development of professionals who have worked for less than three years with Saudi Aramco and enable them to contribute more quickly to technical challenges, TSPA introduced the Accelerated Development Program for Young Professionals.

Designed by the TSPA team and delivered by SMEs, the initiative's customized development programs encompass 17 technical domains, such as oil processing, electrical engineering, environmental protection, and artificial intelligence. Each program deploys a variety of workshops, instructor-led training, in-person field visits, online courseware, virtual labs, and final projects to ensure an interactive and engaging learning experience.

After finishing a program, participants have 90 days to complete a business application that demonstrates their ability to apply new skills to their work environment.

More than 1,800 young professionals have participated in the initiative, and 135 CMaps recommend accelerated development programs. For Saudi Aramco, developing its young technical workforce will ensure the company maintains its position as one of the world's most reliable suppliers of energy for years to come.

View the entire list of 2024 BEST Award winners.

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