What a month! There comes a time on one’s career when you finally admit – “I truly love this job!!” it’s exciting, exhilarating month on month something worthwhile is happening every time – changing mindsets, building relationships, adding value etc. I am just back from Nairobi, Kenya having attended OPEX 2018, where 90 companies displayed their products. It was nice to note that there were a few of our members attending and displaying their products at the event – not as many as I would have hoped to have attended. The East African market has a population of almost 200 million and is a great market to penetrate whether in products or in services. We cultivated a few contacts in Government and professional circles that may be of interest to our members. Anyone interested, come and let’s talk !
Riding on the success of last year’s OPAL SPORTS WEEK and the excitement it generated, this time we took it to a grander scale. The Event which is meant to promote partnership between OPAL members and the society in general, kicked off with the Cricket Tournament on 5th October! With almost double number of teams compared to last year, you can imagine the excitement this has created amongst member teams and your staff. With the end in sight, all events, without exception, were well attended and I was thrilled to see the camaraderie and friendships this was being created away from the worksites for all the different members of the society. The OPAL Sifah “family day” had a fantastic turnout of youngsters and oldsters alike – be it on the beautifully laid out Golf grounds, or on the 10km mini marathon track or the Obstacles NOS races. The Sportsmanship display was exceptional whether on the 10km run, football or cricket fields or the Bowling alley, this was indeed a spectacle to watch and observe. So far I can say that we have winners for almost all the categories with the final game for Football tournament to be played during the closing ceremony that will take place at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex starting at 6 pm on 19th November. Come One Come All – I am Looking forward to seeing as many of you there. Let me take this opportunity to congratulate all those who participated. There were no losers, all are winners, Companies and employees alike. Certainly, no money can buy the excitement, thrill, enjoyment and happiness that I saw on the faces of participants and listening to company executives who took active part in attending or following up on their employees’ participation.
We continue on our 2018 schedule of sector engagement to develop National Occupational standards for the drilling sector and Apprenticeship framework development for Mechanical Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Maintenance. Over 30 different companies and institutions where involved, throughout the week. A big thank you to NTI and PDO for hosting the workshops. Similarly, we are now in the final stages of preparation for the launch of the first competency-based skills testing scheme for personnel involved with lifting and moving loads. The OPAL lifting operations competency cards scheme will official go live in January 2019, via a network of approved testing centers. The scheme is aimed to raise the competency standard of personnel working in this field and provide assurance to employers that they have the right people undertaking this high-risk activity. Further information will follow soon.
OPAL announced a new event for 2019, at the recent NTI Biz Pro awards. The “Tech Pro awards” will establish a sustainable platform to recognize technicians who have strived hard to achieve excellence in their respective fields. The awards will be coupled with a one-day conference (date to be finalized for Q2 2019), that will provide careers advice and support for prospective technicians and job seekers, to promote apprenticeship programs and to bring together employers with educational institutions to identify challenges on skills development and the systems in place. Further details on this initiative will follow in due course.

On the HSE front the much awaited HSE Apprenticeship Program is finally taking off. 2 training companies are in the process of shortlisting candidates with the program scheduled to commence shortly, thanks to funding from the PDO National Objectives scheme and Daleel. On 18th October 2018, we took another opportunity to present the OPAL Road safety standards at the recently concluded Oman Road Safety and Accident Prevention Summit 2018 at Grand Hyatt.
To top up the month, was the grand opening of the much awaited TPO (Takatuf Petrofac Oman) Training Centre under the auspices of H.E. Mohamed bin Hamad Al Rumhi, the Minister of Oil & Gas on 31st October. The facility is a game changer in its capacity to bring needed highly skilled Technicians in their state of art facility situated in Knowledge Oasis. We welcome them on board as a member of OPAL.
The Oil & Gas Conference is fast approaching. The three-day event will take place at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Center, Muscat from 2nd to 4th December with a lot of interesting papers that will be presented at the Event. I urge you to look it up on www.oogc-oman.com and as I previously announced will culminate this year with the OPAL Award for Best Practice Event. Please make sure that you send your participations on time. The last day for participations is 15th November and I won’t hide my excitement to see what marvelous ideas and solutions our members will showcase this year.
Please, stay updated with upcoming details. Until then…”

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