Uganda sends 24 to France to train as oil experts

The ministry of education Permanent Secretary, Ms Ketty Lamaro

What you need to know:

  • The ministry of education Permanent Secretary, Ms Ketty Lamaro, said in 2018, together with the Ministry of Energy, the line ministry launched the Workforce Skills Development Strategy for the oil and gas sector

A month after the signing of the Final Investment Decision edging the country closer to the first oil, the country is stepping up efforts to build a competent workforce to consolidate local content in the oil and gas industry.
On March 9, the Ministry of Education and the Uganda Institute of Petroleum-Kigumba flagged off 24 instructors for further studies in France. They will return to the institute to skill students expected to be absorbed by the industry.

Projects such as the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline are projected to require hundreds of highly-skilled technicians, and the Institute is working to ensure that many Ugandans get such opportunities.  The trainers will spend a month at the French Institute of Petroleum to train in five programmes: upstream operations, downstream operations, mechanical and electrical maintenance, and instrumentation maintenance.

In her speech read by the assistant commissioner in charge of scholarships, Ms Nelly Florence Okullo, the ministry Permanent Secretary, Ms Ketty Lamaro, said in 2018, together with the Ministry of Energy, the line ministry launched the Workforce Skills Development Strategy for the oil and gas sector.
“Building a competent workforce is critical for Uganda. This training will enable our instructors to gain knowledge, attain advanced technical skills and adapt themselves with the most up-to-date procedures commensurate with the oil and gas industry standards,” she said.

 
Ms Lamaro further stated that government will not turn the institute into a university despite calls by some leaders.
“Government intends to make UPIK the best oils and gas training institute for artisans and technicians, the idea of turning UPIK into a university is inconsistent with the mandate for which it was per established,” she said.

Ms Agnes Arach, the project coordinator,  said the Institute is well equipped with the necessary instruction infrastructure although there has been a gap in the training workforce.


Ms Christine Arupo, the head of the Health and Safety Department and one of the instructors going to train, said: “It means I will be better in my delivery in class. It is a very good opportunity for us, for UPIK and the country.  My hope is that it is going to be field experience.”

Mr Bernard Ongodia, the Institute’s principal, said: “We have made strides towards making UPIK the centre of excellence for oil and gas trading, but there are still a few gaps that require  funding.’’  

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