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A Business and Sustainable Development Challenge: The Training of New Recruited Geoscientists Worldwide


Estival, Jacques1, Jean-Francois Coste2, Hubert Lecanu3, Philippe L. Julien3 (1) Total, Paris, France (2) Totalfinaelf, F-64018 Pau Cedex, France (3) Total S.A, Pau, France


The oil industry has to face a significant aging of its E&P task force and its correlative retirement in a few years. To prepare for this “crew” change, Total implements a consistent training program for new recruits both at the Headquarters and in the affiliates worldwide. Obtaining the required skills as quickly as possible is a major challenge. Each new recruited geoscientist follows a personalised curriculum (the so-called Training Passport, designed to fill the gap between initial and expected skills) corresponding to about 6 months training dis­tributed over a 3 year period: for each new recruit, the technical skills and the personal development objectives are listed. The Training Passport is now being extended to affiliates starting with Western Africa. This contributes efficiently to the Sustainable Development of hydrocarbon producing countries. The national geoscientists are trained according to the Total international standards. We faced three main challenges: maintaining technical group cohesion despite remoteness, solving the problem of different technical levels among the new recruits (compared to the European context), and lack of local training resources. Different solutions have been proposed: adaptation of courses to the affiliates’ contexts, on the job training in France, and customized external training. It rapidly appeared that the new blended learning approach, combining distant and onsite classrooms, use of e-facilities and good quality distance coaching, was powerful in such a context. This methodology showed an increased flexibility for integration in operational contexts, a better assimilation of knowl­edge, and a development of learner abilities for collaborative team working,…