In a recent interview with the Iraq British Business Council (IBBC), Will Follett, Vice President of Workforce Development at Restrata stated that nationalisation programmes will continue to dominate MENA workforce planning, driven by Government policy that promotes the employment of local nationals over expats.

 Supporting Regional Stability

As such, the upskill of local nationals and competency based training programmes will play a huge role in the delivery of such plans. This is especially relevant in the oil and gas sector, where the need to engage and develop locals with a structured nationalisation plan in large international corporations is paramount in supporting regional stability.

Restrata has extensive experience working in the Middle East and North Africa on projects that focus on developing the local workforce, most recently, being an agreement with Egyptian National Falcon to train several thousand airport security personnel over a six month period, and establish a Training Academy to support long-term sustainability.

Blended Learning to Support Nationalisation Goals

Will commented on the demand for training and certification in the Middle East, and the developments he anticipates over the next decade, “At Restrata we think blended learning will grow in prominence, with effective e-learning methodologies providing awareness and knowledge, coupled with instructor-led training to provide core skills and practical application.

“This is a gradual process though, and thus the maintenance and development of international highly skilled and experienced labour still provides the principle route for knowledge transfer.”


 Nationalisation Discussion

Will is scheduled to speak at the upcoming IBBC Autumn Conference, held on Sunday 6th November at The Address, Dubai Marina. He will join a panel session discussing how to deliver efficient training in situ for the national workforce of Iraq.

“Restrata has been involved in numerous projects in Iraq that combined evaluation and analysis with the development and delivery of a client specific training programme. These include firefighter training for Gazprom at Badra Field, HSE training for Lukoil at West Qurna 2, English language and soft-skills training for Petrochina at Halfiya, and security training on behalf of BP (ROO) for the Oil Field Protection Force at Rumalia,” he said.

The IBBC is a great forum to share industry knowledge and best practice. I look forward to meeting more colleagues and partners at the Autumn Event”

Company Commitment to Iraq

The IBBC’s Chief Operating Officer Christophe Michels said “Restrata is a longstanding member of the Iraq Britain Business Council and has an outstanding record of working in Iraq. IBBC is proud to work closely with Restrata and has been able to witness the excellence of its work and the company’s commitment to training local workers on several occasions while on the ground in Iraq.”

We are delighted that Will is able to join us at the conference and share his valuable insights on this topic.”


The Iraq Britain Business Council is a powerful network of some of the most important global corporations as well as key Iraqi and British companies and trade chambers, and enjoys the highest-level of support from governments and the European Union. Its key aim is to bring together business, trade and investment, for the benefit of the Republic of Iraq and its members.

IBBC is more than a business initiator. It promotes best practice and international standards as well as transferring technology and know-how.

Headquartered in the UAE, with additional offices and representatives throughout the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe, Restrata provides a range of services including consultancy, training and response services in crisis and continuity management, fire and rescue services, safe journey management, HSE management and workforce development, with a great deal of experience working with governments and organisations to set up plans with a focus on nationalisation.