ONE-HUNDRED-AND-FIFTY people, including females, have graduated from a technical skills training in oil and gas.
The graduates, made up of 127 males and 23 females, completed a six-month programme in mechanical, electrical, instrumentation and process engineering at the Jubilee Technical Training Centre (JTTC) at the Takoradi Technical University (TTU).
The training, sponsored by the Petroleum Commission (PC) at more than $1 million, is part of efforts by the government to train more people to work in the oil and gas sector under its accelerated oil and gas capacity (AOGC) programme.
They graduated with City & Guilds International Vocational Qualifications Level Three certification, which makes them qualified for employment in the upstream petroleum and other allied industries globally.
The AOGC is aimed at developing requisite technical skills for Ghana’s upstream oil and gas and other extractive industries, serving as a major boost to deepen the localisation policy for the sector.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo established and launched the programme in 2017 to enhance local capacity to access opportunities in the upstream oil and gas sector.
At the graduation ceremony, the Minister of Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, in a speech read on his behalf by his deputy, Andrew Egyapa Mercer, said one key component of every progressive society was a well-developed human resource capacity.
Dr Prempeh said since the country began the commercial production of oil and gas, “we have lost out on opportunities for our indigenous technicians to play lead roles in the sector due to the skills gap.”
“It is therefore, necessary for more Ghanaians to be equipped with the relevant skills and competencies to actively participate in the country’s oil and gas industry,” he said.
“If we are to fully benefit in all respects from the oil resource, there is the need to play a central role. Cognisant of the aforementioned fact, and in response to this pressing need, the AOGC was launched,” Dr Prempeh said.
“The programme was established with the goal of aggressive investment in education and skills enhancement of Ghanaians to manage the country’s oil and gas sector and we are happy to see the progress being made today.”
He commended the PC for the collaboration with other multinational companies and internationally accredited educational institutions to establish a framework to offer technical training to a number of Ghanaians in the areas of welding, process and mechanical engineering, among others.
“The visible results of these efforts are the 150 graduates seated before us today who will, hopefully, be actively and deliberately integrated into the upstream petroleum industry to achieve job role localisation in the sector,” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer of the PC, Egbert Faibille Jnr, commended the graduands for their commitment to the programme and the successful completion of the courses.
The Senior Vice-President and Head of the Ghana Business Unit of Kosmos Energy Ghana, Joe Mensah, commended the graduands, saying the successful completion of the programme was a significant drive towards the local content agenda.
“The industry that we have all embarked on will never be the same if we allow dominance by the expatriate. We have to develop our youth to take over and run the operation for the country’s interest,” he said.
The course prefect, Perfect Dzigbordi, commended the government and the PC for the opportunity to upscale the skills of graduates for the extractive industry.