Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen has been awarded funding to create a skills development framework for the oil and gas sector in Mexico.
The university said on Tuesday it secured the funding, which will be delivered by the British Embassy in Mexico from the British Government’s Prosperity Fund.
Through the Prosperity Fund, the British Government has supported Mexico to shape its energy legislation based on international best practices.
RGU will use its experience of working both in the North Sea and internationally to advise the Ministry of Energy in Mexico (SENER) on appropriate delivery models to train and further develop the Mexican workforce, and to secure a pipeline of future talent.
The university added that the framework will provide recommendations on how to address the potential skills gap in the Mexican oil and gas industry over the next 15 years, both at the graduate and vocational level.
Although Mexico has a long-standing track record as one of the leading hydrocarbon producing countries in the world, it is estimated that it will require more than 135,000 additional skilled people in the oil and gas industry over the next 15 years in order to meet the ambitious production targets set by the government, the RGU said.
Professor Paul de Leeuw, Director of RGU’s Oil & Gas Institute, said: “The Energy Reform in Mexico presents huge opportunities for the Mexican oil and gas sector.
“RGU is delighted to undertake this important review on behalf of the FCO and to advise the Mexican Government on skills development options for Mexico.”
The project builds on the visit from the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto and his delegation to the university in March 2015, and on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which RGU signed with SENER in September 2015.
The British Ambassador to Mexico, Duncan Taylor, said: “We aim to build a strong partnership that promotes an open, robustly-regulated Mexican energy sector with significant British collaboration.
“The UK is a global center of energy excellence and we hope our experience can contribute to the successful implementation of Mexico’s new energy markets.”
Leonardo Beltran, SENER’s Undersecretary for Planning and Energy Transition, said: “As part of the Energy Reform, SENER has developed a coordinated strategic human resource program for the energy sector, seeking to rapidly build capacity to respond to the needs of the transformed energy sector.
“The partnership with the UK and particularly with RGU will support the development of capacity building of Mexico’s oil and gas sector.”
RGU has also recently been identified as a partner university for Mexican SENER-CONACYT scholarships. CONACYT is a decentralized public agency of Mexico’s federal government in charge of the promotion of scientific and technological activities which sets government policies for these matters. CONACYT also grant scholarships for graduate studies both in Mexico and for Mexican students wishing to study overseas.
RGU’s partnership for the scholarships now enables Mexican students to study oil and gas related Masters and PhD programmes at RGU.