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Blog > Education News > Check out the BTEC conference in Malaysia

Check out the BTEC conference in Malaysia

In Malaysia the IR enters its 4th generation, how can education and training keep up the evolution of knowledge? This topic and others were addressed in Pearson Asia’s Oil and Gas Conference.

Presenters at the BTEC conference in Malaysia
Presenters at the BTEC conference in Malaysia

BTEC conference in Malaysia highlights around the technical competency framework

As the industrial revolution enters its 4th generation (IR 4.0), how can education and training keep up with the evolution of knowledge and how it is being delivered? Is training in a formal classroom sufficient to equip technical workers with the competencies required to perform in the field? These topics and other issues revolving around it were addressed in Pearson Asia’s Oil & Gas Conference at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Kuala Lumpur recently.

The conference featured presenters from Shell, PETRONAS and EPOMS, who are among the major players in the Malaysian oil and gas industry. The conference was attended by leaders, human resource teams and training coordinators from Malaysian oil and gas companies as well as training providers of BTEC.

The conference consisted of 6 bespoke sessions all looking at the future of education (highlighted below): 

Session 1: Delivering a career-focused education

This session was delivered by Stuart Connor, Portfolio Manager, Assessment and Qualifications in Asia. Where he introduced BTEC qualifications and how the practical, real-world approach and ‘learn by doing’ philosophy supports competency requirements in the oil and gas industry. 

He continues to elaborate on the learner-centred aspect of BTEC, “Although we provide a standardised framework, we don’t prescribe how learners should learn, but we inform them that they will be assessed. The centre is free to cater to these programmes to the environment they’re studying in. This is important because it means that BTEC is personalised to the needs and motivations of every learner. They can then take accountability over their own learning, and that is what is empowering learners.”


Session 2: Ensuring safety with a complete competency cycle

This session was run by Mohd Raimi Mohd Sidek, Head of Operations from EPOMS.

One of the success stories of a large BTEC-certified workforce lies in E&P O&M Sdn Bhd (EPOMS), a 100% fully owned subsidiary of PETRONAS, Malaysia’s largest integrated oil and gas company with operations worldwide.

With its core business revolving around operations and maintenance for their clients’ facilities, EPOMS has developed a step-by-step competency cycle for their employees, beginning from the technical workers and progressing right up to the offshore installation managers.

Mohd Raimi Mohd Sidek, Head of Operations from EPOMS, shared that half of their 500-strong operations workforce will be BTEC-certified by the end of 2019. He credits its large BTEC-trained workforce for achieving their zero-incident goal and an impressive average of 98 percent uptime in 2018. “EPOMS’ philosophy around competence is that a high performing organisation relies on a competent and certified workforce, which will ensure that the company is able to meet its vision of becoming world-class operations and maintenance solutions partner,” affirms Mohd Raimi.

Session 3: Going deep with a simple competency framework 

Ng Kar Teong, learning advisor of Sarawak Shell Berhad focused his session on how Shell Malaysia is developing staff competence and closing the gap through individual development plans for each and every employee. Employees learn through formal classroom learning, coaching and mentoring, discussions with peers, and spend a large portion of their time dedicated to on-the-job training. For positions in the high-risk authority group, particularly those on the oil platforms, competence assurance applies.

“Shell has adopted the Pearson BTEC certification at the offshore platform and this forms the foundation of how we develop our technical staff. It is a fundamental requirement for staff to obtain before they are allowed to perform day-to-day operations on the platform. They are placed there to gain experience and will be closely supervised and monitored throughout the practical training. Once they have completed the programme and have been assessed for their competence, then they will be placed offshore independently,” Ng Kar Teong, learning advisor of Sarawak Shell Berhad explains.

Drawing on the advantages of being a BTEC-approved centre, Shell also introduced the concept of having multi-skilled employees since the 1990s. “Thanks to the strong collaboration with Pearson BTEC, our team is able to be cross-trained. In addition to completing BTEC Level 3 in their core discipline, they are also required to complete Level 1 in three other disciplines. This puts them in a better position to perform and support their colleagues, while at the same time optimising resources,” he clarifies.

Session 4: Safeguarding assets with the right competencies

Saifuddin B. Awang, head of global resource planning and capability in PETRONAS Carigali Sdn Bhd explains how they have integrated three elements -- technical, functional and leadership -- in its competence framework for technical talents based on a study it conducted in 2018.

PETRONAS Carigali’s new structured competency development model focuses on building the capabilities of their talents by creating multi-skilled technical talent and developing the leadership capabilities of those in critical and leadership roles, such as the offshore installation manager (OIM), production supervisor and maintenance supervisor (PS/MS).

One of the prerequisites before candidates are selected to become an OIM is that they must have a BTEC certification while at the PS/MS level, which they should pass within a 2-year period. They should also be equipped with the Managing Major Emergency (MME) assessment to ensure their competency in dealing with major emergency situations.

“Further to that, once successful, OIMs are reassessed once every 2 years through a third party to see whether they are still practising what they’re supposed to, just like how airline pilots are sent back to the simulator after achieving certain flight hours,” says Saifuddin.

Session 5: Education catered to the different generations

Implementing competency frameworks in the workplace is not without its challenges. One of them is the different generations in the workforce -- Baby Boomers, Generation-X, Generation-Y and Millennials -- who have different learning styles.

Wong Hee Jiong, managing director of Humanoid Sdn Bhd assures the audience that the BTEC certification has proven to cater to any learning style. Using the BTEC Competence Assurance models, Humanoid has built its own competence matrix to address the generational differences by having a learning focus based on job outcomes.

“Instead of providing training which outlines the steps to solving the problems, we define the outcomes and expect the trainees to work towards achieving the end result. As we move into IR 4.0 and begin working with artificial intelligence and the internet of things, we don’t know what is coming in the future. So, it is likely that our focus should be on coaching our people to learn how to solve problems by themselves,” HJ states.

Session 6: Identifying other factors towards high performance

While competence frameworks are set in place in every workplace, there is a time when employees who are technically competent may not display sufficient motivation towards doing well their job. Therefore, discovering the motivations that drive an employee and their engagement with the job is also important in ensuring the high performance of an organisation.

Anisa Zulfiqar explains, “There are various types of job motivators and they will be different for different people. Motiva helps you to identify the employee’s level of engagement with the job, organisation and team. Besides that, it also gives advice to the team leader on what he or she can do to help this team build up their motivation.”

We ended the day with an interactive panel discussion where the audience had the opportunity to ask questions about the future of education and were able to clarify further on how to ensure competencies were complete from the various examples of the competency framework models that were shared throughout the day.

This was the first-ever oil and gas-related learning event, this event is a great example of how Pearson and our partners can work together to lead towards a shared outcome that is beneficial for both. Through this one event, we were able to increase our profile among all the leading oil & gas companies in Malaysia, bringing further awareness to our global capabilities and at the same time, provided credibility and further business opportunities for our local delivery partner, Humanoid.


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