Eng Ali Al-Zahrani

Saudi Petroleum Services Polytechnic (SPSP), a leading institution that meets the needs of the petroleum services industry and supports Saudisation, is targeting key accreditations in 2020 to formalize its readiness to conduct even more programs and be well on track.

“In the beginning of this year we announced a transformation plan with a set milestone. Recently, we developed a strategic transformation framework with specific objectives, responsibilities and champions over the next few years and the ACT-Eng program is a part of this transformation plan,” says Program Director, Eng Ali Al-Zahrani.

SPSP has been working and coordinating with many more companies in pursuit for hiring and training young Saudis in several specialties. It is keeping an eye on new job market demands such as women’s training, engineering development, he says. Energy leadership training is another dimension that is gaining interest and focus, for which SPSP is putting plans for implementation.

“In addition, we are gearing up resources, accreditations, and market intelligence and efforts to achieve our vision of being Best in Class Institute,” says Al-Zahrani who had worked in Saudi Aramco for 34 years prior to joining SPSP as its Engineering Centre Director. He joined Saudi Aramco in 1983 after graduating from KFUPM with a degree of Chemical Engineering and MSC in Chemical and Petroleum Refining Engineering from Colorado School of Mines in the US. 

 Al-Zahrani is also mindful of the various challenges facing the institute. He says: “Despite all challenges, we see better years for SPSP with even more achievements as we are continuing to build a more powerful team, planning growth more diligently, and putting higher emphasis on forging partnerships and elevating our business development and marketing campaigns and strategies.”

Talking about his role in SPSP, he says: “I have been in contact with various Saudi Aramco organizations and several of its JVs to promote our Accelerated Competency Transformation for Engineers Program (ACT-Eng.) This effort has been very successful, and we have already embarked with batches of young engineers who are going through a well-structured and highly technical engineering program aimed at expediting their development.”

In his current capacity, Al-Zahrani is instrumental in SPSP taking projects from Saudi Aramco including the training of engineers in ACT-Eng.

ACT-Eng in an engineering development program that SPSP is conducting with a world-class training partner, IFP, the French petroleum institute. The program consists of 12 modules that span over 12 months. Each module consists of one week of classroom training and three weeks of practical work back at the plants and facilities of the program participating engineers. This includes mentoring by direct supervisors or mentors at their workplace and follow-up by the SPSP-IFP instruction team.

This program gained much success since rollout in the beginning of this year.

SPSP is working with its business development and marketing team to secure more sponsoring companies in Saudi Arabia and the GCC. The program will cover more industry and services sectors and is slated to commence in the first two quarters 2020.

“Although I’m directing the engineering development program, I am proud to work for SPSP which was started as a vocational training institute. Saudi Aramco was one of the founders and it is still a key stakeholder. We trained and graduated more than 1,500 Saudi Aramco trainees, and currently have 150 trainees in our programs,” he points out.

Referring to IKTVA, he says it is a unique and important program to help increase the local content in the Saudi economy. As a vocational training institute, SPSP can help companies and contractors action their IKTVA obligations and targets by training young Saudis as part of their workforce plans. Saudi Vision 2030 has put emphasis on the local content, and specifically in the human capital aspect, he notes.

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