Govt unveils oil and gas trainers association

Tuesday February 18 2020

An oil well in Kasemene 1, Bulisa District.

An oil well in Kasemene 1, Bulisa District. Skills development institutions in the oil and gas sector have rolled out close to 2,000 technicians. Photo by Eronie Kamukama 

By Christine Kasemiire

A team of four men and one woman is expected to drive the government’s goal of national content for trainers in the oil and gas sector.

Towards last weekend, the government unveiled the oil and gas trainers association with the aim of uniting trainers in both government and private sectors in preparation of oil and gas.

Mr Bernard Ongodia, the Principal of Uganda Petroleum Institute Kigumba (UPIK) was elected to spearhead the executive committee as the chairperson of the association.

He will be deputised by Mr Patrick Mbonye, managing director, The Assessment and Skilling Center (TASC)/ Q-Sourcing Group as the Vice-Chairperson of the association.

Ms Juliet Kakoma, Strategic Human Resource Expert, Solid Rock Life and Business was elected Secretary-General to the association to work with Mr Joseph Kanyesigye, Training Coordinator Sun maker Oil and Gas Training Institute in charge of Publicity.

Mr Patrick Ruharuza, the chief executive officer of Institute of Petroleum Studies Kampala (IPSK) was also elected as the association’s treasurer.

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The new association will be expected to bring together individuals, academic training institutions, and training service providers in the oil and gas sector.

Currently, UPIK, IPSK, Kiryandongo Technical Institute, Buhimba Technical Institute and St. Simon Peter Technical Institute have subscribed to be part of the association.

Others include Kyambogo University, Makerere University, Sun maker Oil and Gas Training Institute, SEAOWL Energy Services, Safe Way Right Way, Nile Vocational Institute (NVI) Njeru, Bishop Mukasa Center Hoima district and Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST).

Mr Robert Kasande, the permanent secretary Ministry of Energy, said the association is timely because the sector needs highly specialiSed and skilled human resources due to the risks involved.

“I therefore take this opportunity to encourage all the training institutions to acquire international accreditation and offer internationally recognised trainings to enable Ugandans fully participate in the sector,” he says noting that this will also enable the country to export manpower to other oil-producing countries when the activities in the sector reduce.

Skills development institutions in the oil and gas sector, the permanent secretary revealed, have rolled out close to 2,000 technicians currently working beyond the sector.
He asked all training institutions to register their trainees on the National Oil and Gas
Talent Register to enable government take stock of the employable people in the sector as well as provide visibility of the talent to the potential employers.

Impact
According to the ministry, projects in the sector are expected to create a total of 167,000 jobs at the peak of the activities.

Of those, 14,000 will be direct jobs, 42,700 indirect and 105,000 induced jobs. Over 70 per cent of these jobs are level 2 and 3 jobs for technicians and craftsmen.

However, delays in the Final Investment Decision have left many in the sector paralysed and without hope.

Delay in fid

For the training institutions, the delay has been a blessing in disguise.
Mr Ongodia says the delays have afforded institutions time to close any skills gaps.

“It has enabled the institutions to build the requisite capacity in terms of manpower requirements, equipment, and infrastructure,” he says.

The committee, he says, will strive to attain its objectives which include; bringing the trainers together to create a unified voice to address common goals, challenges and lobbying for financial support.

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