Posted on November 26, 2013

Maersk Oil Qatar has announced a new approach in how it attracts, develops and retains Qataris with the launch of a new Qatarization Strategy aimed at boosting the number of locals and those in leadership positions. The new plan is the culmination of a year-long study of local and global best practise and builds on the company’s Qatarization efforts that have seen a doubling of Qatari employees in recent years.

A high profile recruitment campaign, targeting degree-educated Qataris; a new two year Qatari Development Programme for those early in their careers and a Career Orientation Review Scheme overseen by a new in-house coach form part of Maersk Oil Qatar’s new Qatarization Strategy.

Lewis Affleck, Maersk Oil Qatar Managing Director, said: ‘Qatarization is a core business priority for us and a priority for me personally. We need to continue to attract and develop the best and the brightest so we maintain the right blend of experience and expertise. Maersk Oil Qatar is full of talented Qataris, and we’ve won awards for our work in the past, but it is only right that we redouble our efforts on Qatarization.’

Sheikh Faisal Al-Thani, Maersk Oil Qatar’s Deputy Managing Director, said:  ‘We have doubled the number of Qataris at Maersk Oil in the past five years and seen a 23% rise in those with a bachelor’s degree, but we are constantly seeking to improve and we recognise that we can do more to develop Qataris and ensure they develop into leadership positions.

As a company operating, along with Qatar Petroleum, one of the world’s most complex oil fields at Al Shaheen, we have a responsibility to take our Qatarization efforts to the next level. Our ambition is to see at least 250 Qataris employed at Maersk Oil by 2017, but our new Qatarization Strategy is about much more than just headcount. We also want to quadruple the number of quality Qatari leaders in our organisation, which won’t only benefit Maersk Oil but also our industry and more broadly the State of Qatar.’

Sheikh Faisal Al-Thani, Maersk Oil Qatar’s Deputy Managing Director

Maersk Oil’s new Qatarization Strategy is informed by an exhaustive study that included:

  • A comprehensivereview of Maersk Oil’s existing Qatarization policy, including a thorough survey of employees and data-driven analysis
  • Detailed mappingand analysis of best practise in Qatar and around the world, including fromcompetitors
  • External scrutiny by experts on localisation, industry veterans and Maersk Oil specialists in Denmark

The study found Maersk Oil Qatar had a healthy reputation, offers good salaries and education support but could improve employee turnover rates by expanding professional development opportunities and career progression.

Sheikh Jassim Al-Thani, Maersk Oil Qatar’s Head of Qatarization, said: ‘We have searched for the best ideas, regardless of where they come from, to further improve our Qatarization efforts. We have listened and learned from our own employees and the best minds from inside and outside Maersk Oil. I’m confident our new Qatarization Strategy will focus our efforts and ensure we succeed.’

Abubaker Al-Saiari, the Chairman of the Qatarization Steering Committee at Qatar Petroleum, said: ‘I commend Maersk Oil Qatar on its new Qatarization Strategy which builds on its successes of the past. The company recently won a Qatarization award from His Excellency, Dr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry for its work with local educational institutes and I’m sure the new strategy will lift the bar even further for the Sector.’

Joanna Rawbone, Director of Scintillo - a UK-based learning and development company - is assisting Maersk Oil Qatar with the Qatari Development Programme. She said: ‘We have created a cutting edge development programme tailor-made for the specific needs of Maersk Oil Qatar and their employees.  It is informed by the culture of the company, the culture of Qatar and the blend of skills that are needed by effective managers. It is a thorough and engaging modular programme conducted over a 21 month period that demonstrates Maersk Oil’s commitment to the development of local talent.  The Qataris taking part already have fantastic technical skills and this programme complements those skills with the personal and interpersonal skills needed so that they have the opportunity to develop as a well-rounded leader’

In a separate move driven by the new Qatarization Strategy, Maersk Oil Qatar has employed a certified coach to oversee the development of Qataris.

Julie Zawadzki, Qatarization Development Advisor at Maersk Oil Qatar, said: ‘My role is to support Qatari employees and their line managers to ensure that career development and progress is maintained. This is a new approach for Maersk Oil Qatar, but the model has been used successfully elsewhere to help people unlock their full potential.’