In an excerpt from his exclusive interview with Mexico Oil & Gas Review 2016, Eduardo García García, the Institutional Dean of Engineering, Design, and Architecture at UVM provides his opinion on human capital needs in the oil and gas industry.
Q: What led UVM to begin offering an engineering course in the oil and gas area?
A: The relatively long-lasting evolution of the Energy Reform allowed us to speculate on and prepare for what was coming, adapting to changes one step at a time. We followed the trends that emerged from this operation, not only in oil and gas, but also in the other energy sectors. We realized that PEMEX is no longer the main player in the oil industry in Mexico, but has to become in a competitive player facing new competitors participating in the round calls. PEMEX will be required to update its workforce and processes to fulfil the new requirements and new circumstances such as international compliance, productivity, and profitability. Current employees have to be trained in new skills and proficiencies, and recent retirees must be replaced with fresh talent that is in line with today’s market requirements and understand its challenges. Traditional universities with oil and gas programs are also facing the challenge of updating and to adding new courses to adapt to this new reality. Oil and gas professionals will no longer be in a closed national industry, but in an international open competitive arena, with evolving technologies, international laws, and regulations. We have designed an oil and gas program that follows the Energy Reform’s evolution and, as well as taking into account the NOC’s needs, it also maps the new trends emerging from the privatization and globalization of the industry and the entry of foreign companies to the market. We are developing talent that is able to optimize and renew the oil and gas industry. We know thisa cyclical industry, with price problems returning every ten years, although not necessarily as dramatic as the ones experienced at the moment. We are training our talent so it is able to create a more efficient and reliable industry, regardless of the oil prices, and we are one of the only universities focusing on this aspect.
I think the evolution of the Mexican oil and gas industry brought us to the centralization of activities, but also to the loss of proficiency in many areas. It has come to a point where both quantity and quality must be addressed in order to resolve the issues in Mexico’s talent pool. Today’s workforce needs to be oriented toward new technologies, particularly for the exploration and production segment of the industry. UVM’s vision is oriented towards the future and the new requirements that are developing across the industry. We take into consideration the new employee profile requested by the market. Not only must these have knowledge of new and advanced technologies, but the entry of international companies to Mexico will require international capabilities and more advanced ways of working.
Q: How do you promote your university, and how do you ensure that students already have the necessary requirements for your oil and gas course when it comes to selecting a degree course?
A: UVM has its own high school where there is a strong focus on vocational orientation. Each student undertakes an exam that displays his or her strong skills, allowing us to develop recommendations about the careers and programs in which they can take advantage of their own potential. Those with the most logic and analytical skills fall under careers in engineering. They are then allowed to take part in various classes to confirm their interest in the field in a practical way. Upon arrival at our institution, external students are asked to take a similar profile mapping exam called ADN. In the same way, this allows us to examine whether their skills and interests match their chosen field of study, and it also serves as a way to highlight students’ skills that they may not be aware of.
Exclusive interview with Eduardo García García, Institutional Dean of Engineering, Design and Architecture at UVM.
This is an exclusive preview of the 2016 edition of Mexico Oil & Gas Review. If you want to get all the information, plus other relevant insights regarding this industry, pre-order your copy of Mexico Oil & Gas Review 2016.