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Dealing with Skill Gap in the Energy Sector

The present situation at the energy industry is complex due to many factors including regulatory challenges, geopolitical pressures, and environmental issues. Moreover, the scenario in the energy industry is very dynamic surrounded by continuous change, disruptions, and innovation. Given such background, the industry demands attention to manage capacity and resources. In order to tackle the present condition, HR challenges at the energy industry should be dealt in priority. It is observed that the present pool of competency is not sufficiently ready to tackle the present scenario as well as future challenges. To understand the competency crisis, there is a need to understand the current workforce of the industry. Due to the nature of the work, the workforce in the energy sector is majorly dominated by people with engineering background. The major workforce in these organizations is comprised of the people who entered the organization as graduate engineer trainees, and have worked their way up from the shop floor/office. With progression over time, the executives move to middle management level as head/supervisor of the team and project. Being the supervisor/head of the team and projects, the executives have to perform a general management role along with their technical expertise. There is a possibility that the engineers who have been hired on the basis of their technical expertise would not be well proficient in a management function. Thus, it is argued that the middle management level people at energy sector might not be equipped with the necessary management knowledge and skills to confront the present scenario in the industry. Indeed, the paucity of talent at the intersection of technical skills and management/leadership functions could be a major hitch for energy companies. Such scarcity of talent at middle management level make the situation intense as these people are critical for succession planning and future leadership position. On the other hand, it can be an opportunity for those companies who excel at dealing with such a crisis.

In a nutshell, the middle and high level position at organization demands mastery in many skills like being visionary, wise use of resources, interpersonal relationships, effective communication, effective delegation and execution of tasks. As stated in the management literature (Katz, 1955), the three management skills, i.e., technical, human and conceptual, are essential for organization function, yet the proportionate use of these skills changes with succession at management levels. It is suggested that technical skill is essential at low organization level whereas human and conceptual skills become important at middle and high-level positions at the company.

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