Over 700 technicians trained in oil and gas industry

Students of Uganda Petroleum Institute Kigumba (UPIK)

In order to meet the capability of Uganda’s human resource in the oil and gas industry, the Ministry of Education and Sports has so far produced 768 technicians.

The Principal of Uganda Petroleum Institute Kigumba (UPIK) in Kiryandongo District, Mr Bernard Ongodia, told this website that the trained technicians include pipe fitters/plumbers, pipe welders, mechanical fitters and scaffolders among others.

“These technicians were trained with support from different development agencies and private sector bodies including Irish Aid, World Bank and GIZ/SOGA,” he said.

The technicians who have also acquired international accreditation will be relevant in the upcoming development and construction phases of the oil and gas industry.

Mr Ongodia said that the technicians can also be employed in other development fields within and outside Uganda since they have attained international accreditation.

“The skills impacted through these training programmes will be easily transferable to other development projects in the country and even abroad because the technicians have acquired international recognition,” he added.

He continued that 240 more welders are being trained to complement the various efforts taken by the different private sector bodies and development partners.

The principal added that oil and gas sector in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Sports is promoting international accreditation and certification of vocational training institutes including the UPIK, Buhimba Technical Institute and Kyema Technical Institute.

Three institutions in Uganda including UPIK, Kinyara Sugar Factory and Q – Sourcing/ The Assessment and Training Centre (TASC) have acquired City Guilds certification.

Mr Ongodia revealed that the UPIK also acquired accreditation from International Construction Industry Training Board and plans are underway to get certified by American Welding Society and the French Institute of Petroleum (IFP).

He added that over the past four years, 200 government officers have been trained in various oil and gas training programmes including Petroleum Engineering, Geology, Geophysics, Law, Economics, Taxation, Auditing and Finance among others.

The Ministry of Education and Sports launched the Albertine Region Sustainable Development Project (ARSDP) where 600 trainees from 13 districts were selected and awarded bursaries for skills training from accredited public and private institutions. The bursaries covered tuition and accommodation.

The trainees were selected from Hoima, Masindi, Buliisa, Kiryandongo, Kagadi, Kibaale, Kakumiro, Kyenjojo, Kabarole, Ntoroko, Bunyangabu, Nebbi and Nwoya districts for the past five years.

Training institutions offering oil and gas related certification in Uganda include The Assessment and Training Centre (TASC)/Q Sourcing, Sun Maker Energy and SEAOWL/O GAS. These offer training in welding, electricals, plumbing, scaffolding, basic driving in heavy goods vehicles, oil and gas engineering essentials and many more.

The Ministry of Education and Sports participating in the Oil and Gas Industry is a design created following a study that there are many linkage key players needed to develop the industry.

Studies undertaken estimate that the sector will generate 160,000 jobs of which 13,000 will be direct.

Besides, 65 percent of these jobs will be at technician level, 20 percent at managerial and 15 percent basic skills.

An Association of Oil and Gas Trainers of Uganda (OGTAU) has been established to ensure quality and coordinated training is achieved.

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