The Petroleum Commission (PC) is training 150 young Ghanaians to acquire vocational, practical and hands-on skills that will position trainees to take opportunities in the upstream oil and gas industry.
They were selected from a pool of 3,500 Ghanaians through a stringent and competitive selection procedure involving advertisement, examination and a face-to-face interview process under the Accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity Building Project (AOGC) Accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity Building Project (AOGC).
The 150 are presently in residence at the Jubilee Technical Training Center (JTTC) of the Takoradi Technical University (TTU).
Out of the 150 students selected, 45 are from the Western Region – which makes up 30 percent of the total number and makes it the region with highest number of beneficiaries.
“Each of the trainees will be awarded a City and Guilds International Vocational Qualification (IVQ) Level III Certificate. This certification will connect them to various job roles in the upstream petroleum sector. This is the first time such an initiative has taken place in this country’s oil and gas sector.
“The 150 trainees are fully sponsored by the Petroleum Commission and receive a monthly stipend of GH¢1,000. This is in addition to absorption of the training cost – which is US$7,000 per trainee,” Egbert Faibille Jnr, Chief Executive Officer of PC, has said.
He was speaking at a meeting with the Western Regional House of Chiefs at Sekondi. The meeting was to update the house on updates of current oil and gas operations, completed projects, ongoing projects, planned projects and challenges in the sector. Also, it was to create a platform for the House to share concerns with the Commission as well as provide advice on how they should conduct the business of government in the sector.
Some of the topics discussed included: updates on exploration and production activities; Health, Safety and Environment; Petroleum Security; community Relations and Social Environment; as well as Alternative Dispute Resolution in Ghana among others.
He explained that the trainees are accommodated at TTU at no expense to them or their parents.
According to him, the programme has four areas of technical training modules: including Mechanical, Instrumentation, Electrical and Process. “These professional areas were strategically chosen to ensure that Ghanaian have the required skills needed in the oil and gas industry, and are well-positioned to fill job roles in order to fulfil the Commission’s Local Content mandate,” he added.
Mr. Faibille said the Commission, in adopting recommendations of the Safe Sea Access Framework, agreed with relevant stakeholders to set up the Cumulative Impact Co-Management Platform. “The main purpose of the Platform is to facilitate a coordinated approach to the effective management of cumulative impacts from offshore oil and gas project development and production operations in the Western Region of Ghana,” he said.
He said as part of processes to operationalise the Cumulative Impact Co-Management Platform, the Technical Committee meeting comprising the GNPC, Fisheries Commission, EPA, Navy Marine Police, and Exploration and Production companies in active production and pre-development stages was held in November this year.
“It is my fervent belief that once the platform becomes operational from next year, concerns of the fishing industry – including the seaweed menace – will be adequately addressed,” he added.
Nana Kobina Nketsiah V, Omanhene of Essikado Traadional area, commended the PC for the good work they continue to do; and expressed hope that “very soon, the local companies will take over the oil and gas industry”.