TIMES OF OMAN: Shell Oman unveils plans for key social investment projects: “During the event, Shell also revealed a ‘Shell Traffic Park’ initiative, to be conducted in coordination with the Royal Oman Police and Shell Oman Marketing Company. This initiative will be developed in line with similar schemes developed by Shell in Singapore and Malaysia.” (ShellNews.net) 19 Dec 04
By A Staff Reporter
Sunday, December 19, 2004
MUSCAT — Shell Oman would be contributing a total of $1.5 million to various social investment programmes in Oman, by the end of this year.
“By the end of 2004, we will have contributed some $1.5 million towards programmes benefiting young Omanis, and I am proud to say that in 2005, we expect to have similar funds for social investment programmes in Oman,” Dr Andrew Wood, Shell country chairman in Oman and general manager of Shell Representative Office Oman (SROO), said yesterday at the ‘Careers and prospects’ event, which was attended by Juma bin Ali bin Al Juma, minister of manpower, at Grand Hyatt Muscat.
A social investment panel, comprising Sheikh Al Fadhel Al Harthy as chairman, Ali Al Riyami from the Ministry of Oil and Gas; Sheikh Muhanna Al Ma’awali from the Ministry of Interior, and members of the SROO, reviews all proposals for social investment under this programme. The SROO is the local representative office of the Royal Dutch/Shell group of companies in Oman.
Shell organised yesterday a graduation ceremony for the 99 graduates of two of its recently completed training programmes: ‘CISCO’ and English and IT.
During the graduation ceremony, held under the auspices of the minister of manpower, Shell unveiled many initiatives relating to road safety and career awareness, and signed three new training programmes with the Ministry of Manpower that will benefit over 75 young Omanis.
In line with the government directives, Shell announced three initiatives addressing road safety in Oman, two of which (Road Safety Education and Shell Traffic Awards) were developed in coordination with the Ministry of Education.
To help develop road safety education in the Sultanate, Shell has assigned a project to TRL (Transport Research Laboratory), a company, which has used a variety of approaches and materials for road safety education in schools and communities.
In a four-stage process, TRL will assess current child road accidents, develop road safety education systems to be incorporated in the educational curriculum and develop a teacher-training programme.
The Shell Traffic Awards scheme is another programme, initiated with the Ministry of Education, where Shell and other representatives from both the government and the private sector will evaluate initiatives undertaken by schools in Oman in the area of road safety. There will be a special awards ceremony for the winning schools.
During the event, Shell also revealed a ‘Shell Traffic Park’ initiative, to be conducted in coordination with the Royal Oman Police and Shell Oman Marketing Company.
This initiative will be developed in line with similar schemes developed by Shell in Singapore and Malaysia.
Addressing the audience, Dr Wood said: “Our social investment programme, now in its third year, has covered a diverse range of projects, focusing on employment and education and aiming to contribute to the social and economical development of Oman.”
During the event, the Manpower Ministry and Shell signed three new agreements for the training of 77 Omanis in heavy equipment operations, construction supervision, sales and marketing, a programme dedicated to women.
The event yesterday saw not only the graduation of 45 CISCO trainees from Sultan Qaboos University, Caledonian College of Engineering and Modern College of Business and Science, but also the second batch of 54 trainees who have undergone English and office skills at the British Training Institute (BTI).
For the nearly 100 ambitious young Omanis, this marks a very significant achievement, Dr Wood said. Referring to the three training for employment programmes, the career awareness programmes for young graduates and the launch of a range of important projects in the arena of road safety. “These initiatives form part of a programme currently being pursued by the SROO to help young Omanis to further their education and personal development with the aim of assisting them to gain meaningful employment,” Dr Wood said.
He also referred to an agreement that they signed with the Ministry of Education to certify 2,290 teachers for International Computer Driving Licence certification in September, this year. This equipped the teachers with basic IT skills that they could pass on to their pupils.
Also, a total of four Shell-developed training courses were conducted and attended by delegates and representatives from various government ministries during this year.
Meanwhile, three government employees are continuing to follow postgraduate studies in the United Kingdom and Australia and 45 young Omanis — for whom employment is secured — are in the final months of their 18-month oil and gas industry training provided by the Oman Refinery Company.
Dr Wood noted that they cherished their association with Oman, which dates back to 1937. “In addition to our continuing investments in both oil and gas projects and other projects, it is through participation in schemes such as these that we aim to nurture and sustain that relationship in the years ahead,” he said, adding that Shell would partner with those companies in the public and private sectors, “who recognise that such activities are important elements in the development of successful economies and in the provision of additional opportunities”.
Two of the students, Mustafa bin Abdul Khaliq Al Balushi, CISCO graduate, and Maha bint Haider Al Hooti, English and IT training graduate, also spoke on the occasion.
Both detailed their experiences and thanked the Manpower Ministry, Shell Oman, SQU, Modern College for Commerce and Sciences (in Mustafa’s case) and Shell and BTI (in the case of Maha Al Hooti).