By Tamara SUKHOMLINOVA
APEC – Atyrau Petroleum Education Center – opened its doors on March 11 to train, retrain and upskill oil and gas workers. Following the grand opening its first hundred students sat down to desks.
APEC will use brand new educational programs developed in cooperation with South Alberta Institute of Technologies that has been training oil and gas specialists for over 45 years, says CEO of non-profit Kassipkor JSC Eldana Sadvakassova. – Besides theoretical learning, students will master practical skills. Upon completion, they will get a diploma and certificate - an internationally recognized one from SAIT Polytechnic and a Kazakhstani one. It is the first institution in Kazakhstan to prepare world class specialists.
Courses in the APEC center will run in the English language. To begin with, a student will be taught general disciplines – English, mathematics, physics, chemistry and oil and gas fundamentals.
Instructors from Canada will conduct classes not only to students, but to Kazakh trainee teachers as well, who will then gradually join teaching process.
Within the first year of studies, a student may choose his or her specialty out of three options:
Oil and gas production technology – the broadest program that covers all main aspects of oil and gas operations – from drilling and well work-over to administering production process and refining oil and gas products;
Instrument technology – training specialists for operation and maintenance of control instrumentation;
Field development – training specialists for exploration and production of oil.
Education in the center is free of charge. Monthly, students will be paid a T15,000 stipend. Those from other cities will be provided with accommodation in the student hostel.
Ms Sadvakassova said the first recruitment comprises graduates from secondary schools, colleges and higher education institutions:
We have guys with two degrees wishing to get a world class education here. All candidates went through tough selection, so there is not a single hit-or-miss person,” she said.
60% of the new students come from Atyrau.
In four years, the center intends to reach its full capacity – 700 students mastering 12 oil and gas specialties in great demand.
The next enrolment is scheduled for the coming August and September.