ECUADOR - Energy & Mining
Director General, Technical Institute of Petroleum, Mines, and Industries (ITP)
Golda Rodríguez has been Director General of ITP since its establishment in 2009. Prior to that, she was as an auditor for Deloitte Ecuador and a manager for different departments at Porta Celular, today known as Claro. She has been actively involved in the drilling sector, having represented drilling and workover services in the Ecuadorian market.
ITP is a technical training organization created with the aim of satisfying the training needs of the Ecuadorian and international oil sectors.
How has ITP evolved since its beginning almost 20 years ago?
ITP’s mission is to provide a quality service that contributes to the human and professional growth of each of our clients, ensuring that we satisfy their needs, through the ethical, moral, and professional work of each of our collaborators. We have evolved greatly over the years. In the first year alone, we gave courses to 100 people, though 2021 we reached 12,500 students. At the beginning, ITP was focused on the oil industry, and we have grown to cover training needs of more than 80% of oil service companies in Ecuador. In 2022, we expect to increase trained people by 20%. We offer courses to companies or individuals related to the oil industry through both public and private companies, as well as the mining sector and other industrial activities.
How did the institute adapt to the pandemic?
We had to act quickly. We had an individual in 2019 who came in, made an assessment, and recommended some tools that helped us to overcome the challenges. We created a platform that has been running since June 2020. In addition, we held Zoom video calls with between 200 and 500 people, where engineers gave advice in order to sell the online course. That is how we were able to move forward. We gave specialized courses on mining. We once had an instructor from London who could speak Spanish, and he gave a lecture via Zoom that was attended by 500 people. Thanks to the platform’s dynamic, the attendees were able to talk and discuss. I firmly believe we will be able to support the government and the companies that need us to train the workers and have a better Ecuadorian workforce.
What is your strategy to stay ahead of the curve?
It is all about constant work, having a solid image and relationship with our clients, as well as our staff, who I consider valuable. This is how we got more 80% of the nation’s oil and how ITP seeks to work more intensively with mining companies. Moreover, we have streamlined our strategy into three areas: academic-technical, commercial, and finance. The one that is continually updated is the academic one, where there are the most staff. Going virtual is a great tool, as well as a challenge, since it gave us the opportunity to continue lessons during the pandemic. However, face-to-face lessons are still preferable in this line of work. The students need to learn how to handle the equipment as a part of their training.
What are your goals for the coming years?
I would like ITP to be firmly established in the mining industry. Moreover, we would like to get the required technology in the mining, oil, and industry areas in order to train workers who to carry out the more manual tasks. We need investments to make all this happen. We want to remain focused on logistics, instructors, facilities, and more. Apart from that, Ecuador is working to attract investment into the oil sector, with recent rounds of contracts for drilling and more to come. These investments create the need for more local workers, and foreign companies that enter the country want to focus on this core business. We provide a certified workforce for them to run their business. We have about 150 instructors focusing on security and health, for example. They also include in their courses information about working at Ecuador’s high altitude. We have been holding as many as 20 courses at the same time across the country. We even hold them in the drilling fields, where we can bring our technicians, drivers, and equipment. At our main facility, we also have three simulators where people come every week to virtually and safely experience the possible situations that happen at a drilling unit. As the oil industry is undergoing rapid digitalization, we also include these trends in our courses.
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