Five minutes with Albert Kahlow, regional director of Middle East

Albert Kahlow, Regional Director for the Middle East at Airswift, sits down with Oil and Gas Middle East to discuss the industry lowdown

Airswift Middle East Regional Director Albert Kahlow recently sat down with OilandGasMiddleEast.com to talk about the Global Energy Talent Index (GETI) Report and the diversification in the energy industry, skills gap, digitalisation and automation, as well as how it relates to the Middle East.

OilandGas.com: The Global Energy Talent Index (GETI) suggested 90% of oil and gas employees are male – are there any signs this is changing?

Albert Kahlow: Men still hold the majority of positions. But the balance is shifting. Over the last decade, operators and engineering firms have taken a more proactive approach to gender diversification. Typically, they’ll engage a workforce solutions provider to drive this and establish KPIs around numbers of female hires. We’ve also seen a bigger push from educational institutions around communicating the benefits of STEM careers.

OG: Can you see a time when the workforces of the major regional oil and gas operators become predominantly local?

AK: Improvements have been made around nationalisation in the Middle East. This is due in part to apprenticeship and graduate schemes. Roles such as HR and procurement are areas where 85% of employees are local. However, there is a balance to be struck. Operators are building their skills in disciplines such as geosciences and process engineering, so there is a need for some expatriate knowledge and mentoring programmes.

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