Over 5000 Ugandans Qualify for Direct Jobs in Oil and Gas Sector

What you need to know:

This was a result of the China-Africa Vocational Education Academic Exchange Seminar in Uganda last week, which enabled such collaborations for technology and skills exchange between Ugandan and China tertiary institutions and vocational colleges

By Busein SamiluOver 5000 Ugandans have so far trained in different oil and gas courses and are ready to be employed in the sector, Gloria Sebikari, the Head of Corporate Affairs at the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) has said.

These, she said can be employed directly into the sector on formal basis.

The Oil and Gas sector is expected to create 105000 jobs of which 16000 will be direct employment.

To ensure that jobs and service provisions are offered in an organized manner without leaving out Ugandans, PAU established a National Talent Register where all people intending to work in the sector shall register so that they are matched with possible employers.

“We are trying to collect numbers, we have 5000 Ugandans who have been trained in different levels from both public and private institutions,” she said

Sebikari made these remarks at the Uganda Petroleum Institute (UPI)-Kigumba, during the conclusion of the 3-days media tour in oil and gas projects in Albertain region.

“The national content can’t be done by one person/institution and that’s why we government accredited different institutions private and public to offer oil and gas training and skilling; for example, CT Wall, Sun-maker Energy, Buhimba Energy training school in Hoima, St Simon Peter energy training school in Hoima among others,” she said

Sebikari said that for uniformity and eased accreditation, the oil and gas training entities formed an Association dubbed the Oil and Gas Trainers Association chaired by Prosvovia Nabanja the ED of the Uganda National Oil Company and this aids in certification.

Speaking to reporters, Oscar Muhumuza a lecture of oil and gas at UPI said 5000 Ugandans against the expected 16000 jobs is a good number so far.

“We are above 50% although we need to do a little more,” he said.

“Before the intensity of oil activities, we had started registering low turn up and even our admission was limited to 30 students who would be trained for 2 years then take on others; but now we can take on 500 students.

A recent report by the World Bank and International Finance Corporations recommended targeted technical and vocational training efforts to fill skills gaps in close consultation with industry associations, as a way to address cross-cutting constraints to private sector investment.

Over the last 13 years, a total of 462 Ugandans have enrolled for oil and gas diploma programs while 579 have enrolled for international vocational qualifications at UPIK adding up to 1,041 trainees so far.

These courses, according to the Report are designed in such a way that if you are doing a one-year international vocational course, you will spend 9 months at the institute with several industry on-the-job-orientation sessions, and the remaining 3 months will be spent doing l on-the-job-training with the industry.

Out of the 579 international vocation courses trainees, the majority are in Health, Safety and Environment (HSE), which is a very critical component in oil and gas operations.

The oil and gas sector has for the last two years employed a number of Ugandans.

By October 2021, 81% of IOCs employees were Ugandans of which 59% were in management, 75% in technical while 100% support staff.

Furthermore in the construction of Kabaale International Airport, Amos Muliisa the Public Relations Officer of SBC Uganda Ltd the contractors in-charge of construction, said that they faced a challenge of managing local content especially in fields that need expertise.

“We agreed with local communities and employed 70% of our skilled staff and 30% of the local people but now we have trained some of them and are increasing the number to 40%,” he said.

Of the 1000 employees at the construction, Muliisa said only 14 are expatriates.

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