The first PROFuspekh Republican Youth Employment Forum and PROFFEST festival have been held in the capital of Bashkiria under the slogan "Being successful and busy is on trend". The task of these events was to provide career guidance to high school and college students choosing their occupation. Transneft Urals took part in the forum and the festival.
Assessing the Perspective
The PROFuspekh forum offered a unique opportunity to young people, who could ask both government officials and potential employers any questions. The booth of Transneft Urals, one of the largest companies in the region, was especially popular.
Artur Abrekov, a fourth-year student of the Ufa State Petroleum Technical University and a future design engineer, asked Transneft Urals’ employees about all the ins and outs of on-the-job training at the Company.
‘I attended the forum to find the place to do my pre-graduation internship and, possibly, for future employment as well. It would be exciting to start my career at Transneft Urals,’ he said.
Razit Khasiyatulin brought a whole group of Ufa State Petroleum Technical University (USPTU) students to the Company's booth.
‘I spent thirty-three years working at Transneft Urals. I was holding the position of head of a branch when I retired. I have been teaching at the Petroleum University for five years now. I’ve brought my best undergraduate students here. They are smart and advanced, and the key thing about them is that they have the desire to work and to develop,’ Razit Khasiyatulin says proudly.
A multi-level system has been built at the Company for working with youth and training personnel. It involves schoolchildren and college students, workers and young professionals.
Every year, excursions to operational facilities such as oil pumping stations and line operation dispatcher station are held for schoolchildren.
Marsel Shakirov, a petroleum products pumping station operator, shows his craftsmanship
‘This is how they can get an idea of our operations and get to know the equipment we are currently using; they can talk to employees and learn about the objectives of the pipeline transportation system,’ says Gulnara Kurbanova, Head of the Human Resources Section at Transneft Urals.
Moreover, last year Transneft launched a school education development programme. Within its scope, rural schools are equipped with state-of-the-art educational equipment and furniture for mathematics, physics, chemistry and computer science classrooms. These are the subjects one is required to pass exams in to be admitted to oil sector universities.
Last year, Transneft Urals helped equip school classrooms in the Bashkir village of Kuterem, in Berdyaush Settlement located in Chelyabinsk Region and in Novy Mir Settlement of Kurgan Region. By 1 September 2018, the Company provided equipment to four more schools located in the Bashkir villages Starokalmashevo and Pervomaisky, in Travniki of Chelyabinsk Region and in Medvedskoye Settlement of Kurgan Region (such a wide geography being easily explainable by major branches of the Company operating in all these regions). It should also be mentioned that the programme has recently been adjusted, and now it also implies partial renovation of school premises in addition to the provision of equipment. For example, all the windows on the front side of the building have been replaced at the Starokalmashevo school.
‘The goal of the programme is to offer pupils of rural schools an opportunity to gain in-depth STEM knowledge and to encourage them to continue their education at vocational schools and universities, and to come to work at our Company after that,’ Gulnara Kurbanova pointed out.
Students’ Everyday Life
Systematic work with college applicants and students is also conducted. School graduates interested in obtaining sector-relevant higher education have a chance to receive a scholarship from Transneft Urals to cover the cost of their studies in full or in part. The size of the scholarship depends on their academic performance; scholarship winners are obliged to work at the Company after graduation. Up to thirty people are annually admitted to USPTU under this programme. Most of them come from dynasties of oil transportation industry workers.
The Company actively cooperates with higher and secondary education institutions both in the Republic of Bashkortostan and in other regions. The closest interaction, however, has been established with USPTU. Most of the Company's specialists and managers graduated this university. The Company supports the university by providing equipment for laboratories and classrooms, offering internship opportunities to students and much more. In 2018, 175 students have been placed for practical training and pre-graduation internships with Transneft Urals, and more than 230 first-year students have been involved in introductory trainings. 17 best students receive corporate scholarship from Transneft.
‘We are constantly working with the university to ensure that its curriculum fully meets today’s requirements, so that its students are ready for what they will later face when they start working,’ Transneft Urals’ representatives emphasise.
In February 2018, "Transneft Classes" were established for a group of USPTU students. The group consists of third-year students who study a number of specialised elective courses such as Oil and Gas Business and others in addition to the main academic programme. Transneft Urals’ managers and experts are among their lecturers.
‘We taught the students things they will need when they start working. Personally, I explained the basics of labour law and taught them how to compile a CV,’ says Gulnara Kurbanova. ‘I think that this course will allow the students to adapt more easily to the team.’
This year, another "Transneft Group" will be formed from among third-year students: those interested will need to fill out a questionnaire and pass an interview. The priority is given to those whose eyes glow with enthusiasm.
What Does Oil Smell Like?
The Company wants as many enthusiastic new hires as possible: this is exactly why Transneft Urals participates in all kinds of exhibitions, and this is why it showed the four most wanted blue collar professions at the PROFFEST festival. Of course, there are a lot more professions which are in demand at the Company. For example, at the annual Best in Profession contest the Company’s employees compete not only in the professions listed above, there also are categories for commodity loading operators and line pipeliners, truck drivers and excavator operators, processing units repairmen and instrumentation and automation device electricians. And this is just a part of the long list of all those who ensure uninterrupted operation of trunk pipelines and various process equipment.
Here, one could see samples of machinery and equipment used in the sector: a maintenance and welding vehicle and a mobile petroleum products quality control laboratory, equipment for oil analysis and a petroleum products pumping station operator's workspace as well as an electrical equipment stand. One glance at this hardware and the workers themselves is actually enough to get rid of the stereotype that working in the sector means unskilled, menial labour. On the contrary, pipeline transportation today is one of the most high-tech sectors of Russian economy, and the requirements to the level of training and knowledge of workers are close to those required from engineers some 20 years ago. The industry is introducing the latest technologies and technical solutions, widely using state-of-the-art equipment, including microprocessor-based automatics and satellite monitoring systems, precision diagnostic devices and high-efficiency main pumps and so on. The most important task workers are facing is to learn to use this equipment with maximum efficiency, to maintain and to adjust it and even to repair it, if necessary. This means that they need to be constantly growing, developing and honing their skills. The Company provides everything needed for its workers to improve their qualifications, master related professions and acquire new knowledge and skills.
‘Our goal is to explain the specifics of our work to the youth, so that they become interested, receive relevant education and come to work for us,’ says Sergey Zyuzyulkin, Head of Technical Section at Transneft Urals.
The students who attended the PROFFEST exhibition could see what a mnemonic diagram of a petroleum products pumping station looked like.
‘This is an automated workspace,’ says Marsel Shakirov, senior operator at a petroleum products pumping station. ‘Although there are only two monitors here, up to sixteen may be used in reality. The system allows the oil pumping process at a station to be fully controlled by just one person from their workplace, including controlling intake of oil, pumping it into the tanks and so on.’
The job of a power equipment repair and maintenance fitter was presented at the PROFFEST festival by Denis Mukhamedshin, Head of Arlan Oil Pipeline Directorate’s electric and technical laboratory. He is a master of his craft: in 2016, he was recognised as the best electrical equipment fitter of Transneft and got a promotion.
Denis Mukhamedshin, Best electrical equipment repair and maintenance fitter of Transneft - 2016, shares the secrets of his job
‘What is most important for people of our profession is to comply with occupational safety requirements, since we conduct high-voltage measurements and tests,’ says Denis Mukhamedshin.
The work of Rushaniya Zaripova, a chemical analysis the laboratory assistant, who demonstrated how oil and petroleum products’ quality is tested, sparked the interest of schoolchildren.
‘May I smell the oil?’ ‘Does it burn?’ seventh-graders asked her.
Next to her, Artyom Svetlyakov, an electric and gas welder of Tuimazy Oil Pipeline Directorate and a prize winner of several professional contests, was speaking about his profession.
‘I like my job. It is an engrossing and responsible mission which lets you feel that you do something important,’ said Artyom. ‘Moreover, if you work well, great prospects open up for you, and it means a lot as well.’
Up the Career Ladder
At Transneft Urals, graduates of colleges and vocational schools usually start their careers from blue collar positions: this is necessary to give them an idea of their specialisation and the opportunity to reinforce their theoretical knowledge with practice. However, 90 percent of young specialists are promoted to an engineering job as early as during their first year. Measures are also taken to help young specialists blend in and feel as part of the team as soon as possible: they are supported by mentors, they are incentivised to further develop themselves, and they are involved in annual scientific and technical conferences for young specialists. Training of skilled workers is conducted non-stop, them being regularly sent to technical vocational schools and training centres. This way, employees improve their knowledge, undergo recertification procedures and improve their professional level. This is a win-win: both the workers and the Company benefit from it.
Transneft Urals employs more than seven thousand people, including over four thousand within the territory of the republic. Over the last five years, 280 young specialists have joined the Company, among them 195 USPTU graduates.
The average age of employees at Transneft Urals is 41.