Oil sector wants 30,000 workers

Tuesday September 22 2015

By Shabibah Nakirigya

Kampala- The Ministry of Education and Sports has disclosed that 30,000 workers are required for the construction of oil pipeline in the oil and gas sector.

During a dialogue on how to provide the required human resource for oil and gas sector in Kampala last week, the Education ministry Permanent Secretary, Ms Rose Nassali Lukwago, said that institutions are required to provide more than 5,000 qualified personnel.

“We want to ensure that nationals get involved in the oil and gas sector at all levels because the opportunities are available. It doesn’t matter the level of qualifications as long as you have basic skills,”Ms Lukwago explained.

The PS pointed out that Kichwamba and Kigumba technical institutes had been identified for funding to provide technical, vocational and business skills specifically targeting the oil and gas sector.

Last year, the World Bank approved a loan of $10 million (about Shs36b) for the development of Uganda Petroleum Institute Kigumba (UPIK) for the country to meet its plan of training the required human resource in the oil sector.

“We are expecting to train and orient workers up to international standards from level one of basic skills to the last level of working without supervision,” Ms Lukwago said.

She added that this workforce not only works here but even abroad after being accredited.

Mr Edgar Tusingwire, the national content officer from ministry of Energy, said Ugandans must build capabilities to partake of the opportunities in oil and gas sector.

“One of the key issues from the study is that Ugandans have qualifications but they don’t have certification and accreditation required by the oil industry. These qualifications will enable employers to understand the level of competence,” Mr Tusingwire said.

He added that the health and safety training is key in oil industry and every worker is required to have it.

The official noted that anyone can train in oil and gas as long as they meet the required quality and standards.

Training open for all
He said the offer to train is open to universities, technical institutions and companies as long as they possess international accreditation.

Ugandans in the oil sector
Ugandans, according to Total E&P, Tullow Oil Plc and China National Offshore Oil Company (Cnooc) press statements, dominate the jobs in the oil sector.

As of 2013, Total said up to 50 per cent of its 250 directly employed workers are Ugandan citizens.

Tullow said 80 per cent of its employees were Ugandans whereas Cnooc said 70 per cent of its employees are Ugandans. The Daily Monitor could not independently verify these numbers.

Some critics, however, say foreigners dominate the technical positions.

This is attributed to there being fewer Ugandans with the necessary skills.
Uganda is trying to address this challenge by sending some of its citizens to Norway and China, among other countries, for training in oil and gas.

The study conducted by the three companies in 2013, indicated that once they embark on development and production, up to 150,000 job opportunities will be created.
At least 15 per cent of them will be for engineers and managers, 60 per cent (technicians and craftsmen) and 25 per cent for people without any qualification.

Some indirect job opportunities would be created in the transport, hospitality, communications, banking, waste management, training, emergency services and advertising sectors.

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