'HSSC to complement National Skill Mission of India in Hydrocarbon Sector'

Biswajit Roy
Hydrocarbon Sector Skill Council
The Hydrocarbon industry is among the 8th core industries in India and plays a key role in the country's economic growth. In pursuit to create a set of skill and talent manpower for the industry on global par, Hydrocarbon Sector Skill Council (HSSC) has been set up in line with the National Skill Mission of India. Biswajit Roy, CEO, Hydrocarbon Sector Skill Council, expresses his views on various aspects of HSSC in developing and creating a world class skill council catering to a range of skill requirement of the hydrocarbon industry, and increasing the employability and opportunities, locally and globally, with Rakesh Roy of Offshore World.

What was the objective of setting up Hydrocarbon Sector Skill Council (HSSC) and how far it has succeeded in its direction?

Under the National Skill Mission of India, Hydrocarbon Sector Skill Council (HSSC) for the Oil & Gas sector has been set up with its primary objective to execute skill development activities in Indian Hydrocarbon Sector and meeting the entire value chain’s requirement of appropriately trained manpower in quantity and quality on a sustained and evolving basis.

The key objectives of the setting up Hydrocarbon Sector skill council are as under:
  • To initiate, carry out, execute, implement, aid and assist activities towards skill development in the Indian Hydrocarbon Sector and meeting the entire value chain’s requirement of appropriately trained manpower in quantity and quality on a sustained and evolving basis.
  • Develop a skill development plan for the sector
  • Identify skill development need of the sector, review international trends and identify sector Skill Gap and technology
  • Develop National Occupational Standard (NOS's) for the job roles of covering the entire sector/sub-sector
  • Identification and enlistment of Training Providers as outlined by NSDC
  • Affiliation and accreditation process for assessment agencies
  • Create a pool of skill manpower and develop benchmarks for new skills.
  • Setting up a robust and stringent certification and accreditation process
  • Plan and execute Training of Trainer's (ToT)
  • Establish a well-structured sector specific Labour Market Information System (LMIS) to assist planning and delivery of training
How do you view the current workforce and skill set in the oil & gas industry looking at the volatility and harsh and hazardous working environment pertaining to the industry? What are the steps taken by HSSC to develop the future manpower ready to match the global practices?

India is one of the fastest growing economies of the world. It is estimated that 250 million people are set to join workforce by 2030. There is a need for market aligned skill development programs to address the gap of skilled population in harsh and hazardous working environment pertaining to the Hydrocarbon sector Industry.

HSSC skill development programs provide skills training, in line with best global practices specific to hydrocarbon sector, to common and underprivileged youth and access to employment opportunities in hydrocarbon sector. Various Steps have been taken by HSSC to address the systemic imbalance between millions of India's youth lacking technical education and employable skills for Hydrocarbon Sector by providing them comprehensive skills training, knowledge through vocational or technical hands-on training to meet the industry requirements and to ensure competitiveness in the global market.

A total of 118 trades have been identified by the industry committee for imparting skilling in the Oil & Gas sector; 12 of them are already approved under National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF). The process of development of the qualifications, which are in line with global practices, has been initiated.

In order to create the pool of skilled manpower in the Hydrocarbon Sector; Skill Development Institute (SDI's) have been set up by the Oil & Gas PSU's at six locations;

All these SDI's had started operations in last two years and in short span of time, over 6500 candidates have been skilled and employed in Hydrocarbon and allied sector industry.

The council is endeavouring to Zidentify more training par tners for creating more centres in various locations on pan India basis.

With the rapid technology advancements and advent of Digitalization in the Oil & Gas Industry, what are the steps taken by HSSC to cope with the emerging trends?

To meet this challenge, HSSC, recently had collaborated with M/s VEATIVE Labs Pvt. Ltd. for developing 3D, augmented reality (AR), vir tual reality (VR) content in Hydrocarbon Sector where the trainees can understand and learn the job before landing at site. Along with the same, to offer a first -hand experience of digitalization to trainees, most of theory-based assessments have been carried out through online digital platforms and basic knowledge of digitalization has been made integral par t of almost all the skill courses.

Aging workforce and attracting the right talent are still challenges for the hydrocarbon industry. How does HSSC plan to address these issues?

The average age of workforce employed in the oil and gas sector in INDIA is high and this is a major challenge. India is a country with the population of over 1.2 billion people and will have a surplus of active population (in the working age 15-59 years) - about 60 per cent of total population in coming years. HSSC, primarily focuses to attract the right talent and provide them with market aligned skill development programs to address the gap of skilled population in Hydrocarbon Industry by enabling maximum number of youth to undergone formal skill training relevant to oil & gas industry. By 2026, around 64 percent of the population of India is expected to be in the category of active population (age bracket of 15-59 years), with merely 13 percent aged above 60 years, INDIA is poised to become the youngest country of the world by then.

What are the future plans of HSSC to sync with 'Power for All' initiative of Hon’ble PM in terms of creating quality manpower and technical expertise for the entire Oil & Gas Industry?

HSSC future plans include providing adequate skilled manpower to Hydrocarbon sector where huge employment generation opporare envisaged in days to come due to various projects that may lead to higher demand of work force in near future ;
  • New Petrol Pumps:
    These will require staff to run the establishment and hence the demand of skilled workforce may go up. Also, there are many new petrol pumps planned to be set up in Tier II and Tier III cities by the private and public sector enterprises.
Oil & Gas field discovery:
Would require new oil & gas extraction platform being setup and hence fuelling the demand for highly skilled workforce in exploration, production as well as maintenance.
  • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana:
    The objective of the scheme is to provide natural/petroleum gas based cooking fuel in every household and will be requiring a higher number of skilled labour at the local storage & distribution station and delivery boys. This would also lead to an increase in demand for workforce trained towards the repair and maintenance of these new gas stoves and other apparatus.
  • Focus on City Gas Distribution (CGD) Infrastructure
    To make available natural gas to public at large, Government has put strong emphasis on expansion of City Gas Distribution(CGD) network coverage across the country. CGD will expand the coverage of CGD networks to about 70% of country's population spreading over 50% of India's area. The growth of CGD coverage has potential to attract total investment of more than Rs 1,20,000 crore in gas value chain with generation of over 3 lakh employment opportunities in coming years.
  • International Requirement:
    With demand for oil & gas to increase in near future to meet the demand of the sector, the international labour force requirements for skilled manpower is estimated to grow, India with its large manpower pool can try and leverage upon this opportunity and skill & train people in field of exploration, extraction & refining to equip them with latest technological knowhow and expertise and thus become a supplier of skilled workforce to the world.