Business

Petroleum Commission intensifies oil & gas training for locals

The fresh graduands of the Danest-Welder Training & Testing Center

The Petroleum Commission has begun collaborating with International Oil Companies (IOCs) and local oil and gas training institutions to offer in-country training to Ghanaians as part of efforts to enhance in-country value addition and local content development.

In the past, the training of Ghanaians for the oil and gas industry was done overseas in foreign institutions and such trends denied the growth of indigenous training institutions.

However, the Petroleum Commission believes that in order to achieve its strategic objective of making Ghana a training hub for the oil and gas industry in the sub-region, the example should be to train locals in-country.

The in-country training initiative fortunately dovetails into government’s Accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity (AOGC) Programme, which is aimed at helping build the capacity of indigenous Ghana companies (IGCs) within the petroleum value chain and equipping Ghanaians with technical skills to position them to become industry experts and market leaders.

Following from the AOGC Programme, the Petroleum Commission has been working with several IOCs and major service companies such as Haliburton, Baker Hughes/GE and Subsea7 to establish a framework for providing technical training to a number of Ghanaians.

Even before the framework becomes operational, the Commission has collaborated with a service company, Saiwest Limited and the Danest Engineering Company Limited in Takoradi, to train 20 Ghanaians in SMAW 6G pipe welding.

At a graduation ceremony, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Petroleum Commission Prince Benjamin Aboagye said the ultimate goal of the in-country training is to build the capacity of Ghanaians and indigenous Ghanaian companies to promote economic growth, increase productivity and reduce long-term cost in the industry, stressing that “well trained indigenous professionals are key to the advancement of the country’s oil and gas development agenda”.

“…it has been a long-held vision of H.E Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo Addo to develop and build a strong, technically competent and resilient Ghanaian workforce who will take commanding heights in Ghana’s upstream oil and gas industry.”

To further enhance this vision, Mr. Aboagye said the Petroleum Commission has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAITI), Canada to train five Ghanaians to become internationally accredited and certified specialized welders.

“Currently these five individuals are in Canada pursuing their training. Upon their return, they will undertake a training of trainer’s programmes to transfer the skills learnt to their colleague welders in the Ghana.”

While applauding Saiwest Limited and Danest Engineering Limited for the training, he encouraged other industry operators to partner with the Petroleum Commission through the AOGC Programme in order to synergize efforts towards local content capacity development.

“To you the graduands, you are expected to use your newly acquired knowledge and skills to contribute your quota to Ghana’s upstream industry. As a Commission, we will explore job opportunities for you and facilitate job placements for vacancies that are relevant to your skills.”

Managing Director of Danest Engineering Limited Daniel Sakyi Kwakye explained the 20 graduands have only qualified for entry level jobs, stressing more needs to be done to make them accomplished welders.

“They went through the 14-week courses in SMAW, 2G, 5G and 6G. The SMAW is just one of the many processes to make one an accomplished or combination welder. We have GMAW, GTAW and FCAW. If a company, for example, is seeking for a welder with SMAW and GTAW, my boys will miss out. Therefore, it is instructive that at least some of them are made to move up the welding ladder. So, Petroleum Commission should consider that. And I can assure you Danest will be ready to take on that challenge.”

He commended Petroleum Commission for the opportunity given to the young men and entreated them to help them get job placement as that “will complete your efforts”.

Local Manager of Saiwest Limited Guure Brown Guure stated that their motivation for facilitating the training of the 20 Ghanaians is in tandem with government’s local content policy of offering the relevant training that will allow Ghanaians participate at all levels of the oil and gas industry.

“Our motivation is double fold. One as a Ghanaian and one as a company that seeks to be sustainable. To be sustainable we need to have hands that we can always rely on as and when necessary especially in the area of welding. The other part is as a Ghanaian it saddens me to see that we have to import people anytime there is a project and after they will leave. Meanwhile, there are a good number of young Ghanaians who are home capable of working but without the requisite skills. So, when this opportunity presented itself, we did not hesitate.”

By Eric Yaw Adjei|3news.com|Ghana

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