Dubai, United Arab Emirates; November, 2016: The Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA), the voice of the petrochemical industry in the Arabian Gulf, is set to launch an initiative that supports students in the petrochemical sector across the GCC states.
Referred to as the ‘Leaders of Tomorrow’ program, this platform will provide university and college students who have studied in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields an opportunity to build industry knowledge through participation at GPCA events and close interaction with industry leaders. The first edition of this initiative — which expects 60 participant students — will be sponsored by Dow Chemical at the 11th Annual GPCA Forum, to be held from November 27- 29 in Dubai.
“With the region’s governments casting their eyes on the downstream industry for their drive towards economic diversification, the GCC petrochemical industry is poised to be a focal point for expansion in the near future,” said Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary General, GPCA. “In order to realize this potential, we as an industry must invest in the brains behind the operations and focus on future talent. While the opportunities exist, we have noticed that there is a gap between the study and the practice of the various disciplines that make up the petrochemicals industry.
“The ‘Leaders of Tomorrow’ initiative has therefore been established as a method to bridge the gap between academia and industry. As the brainchild of the GPCA and its member companies, we consider this to be the first collective step in which industry stakeholders collaborate in shaping and preparing future industry leaders with the required skillset.”
The initiative will consist of a year round program, through which GPCA member companies will sponsor students to attend the GPCA conferences focused on plastics, fertilizers, R&D, and supply chains. Each conference will incorporate a specialized seminar, workshop, roundtable and site visit to a relevant petrochemicals facility. Meanwhile, the GPCA member companies that sponsor this program will benefit through their access to local talent.
“Over the last 10 years, our research has shown that the region’s petrochemicals industry has a unique ‘multiplier effect’ on employment, meaning that every direct job created by the downstream industry leads to the creation of an additional three employment opportunities elsewhere,” explained Dr. Al-Sadoun. “The chemicals industry of the GCC is the region’s second largest within the manufacturing sector, creating over 500,000 direct and indirect jobs and $108 billion worth of products in 2015. It spurs investment into local and regional talent and has shown to be a highly productive use of the labor force.”
The first edition of ‘Leaders of Tomorrow’ will include an introduction to the chemical industry and its importance to the regional economy. The seminar taking place on Sunday the 27th November will be hosted by industry experts from Dow chemical, Equate, SABIC, and Nexant and will highlight the attractiveness of a career in the chemical industry and the opportunities for the future. In addition to being powered by Dow Chemical, Orpic, Sabic, Saudi Aramco, Borouge, Natpet, Sipchem, Advanced Petrochemical Company, EQUATE, Sahara Petrochemicals and S-Chem have also sponsored students from different GCC countries to participate in the seminar.
For more information on the initiative, please visit www.gpca.org.ae/leaders