Uganda continues to ready more welders for oil sector-220 outed
Industry Resources

Uganda outs 220 welders for oil sector, more still needed

A total  of 220 students have attained internationally recognized certificates in vocational studies under the Youth Employment Enhancement Project (YEEP) at St Simon peters, Vocational Training Center  Hoima.

Out of the 220, 20 are artisans trained in 3G coded welding certified by American Welding Society, 50 in Welding, Fabrication and Pipework certified by City and Guilds, 30 attained certificates in Electrical Engineering while 120 studied Scaffolding erection and inspection.

The training was supported by Skills for Eastern Africa Program (E4D/SOGA), Q-Sourcing, in partnership with Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development and financed by development partners  from the  UK Department  for International  Development , the  Germany  Federal  Ministry of  Economic Affairs  and Development and the Norwegian  Agency for Development  cooperation.

Adrian Green the Head Growth and Economy at the British High Commission in Uganda, said training the youth in Vocational skills is the way to go if Uganda is to fight social and economic challenges of unemployment.

“Equipping younger people with vocational skills can prepare them to become job creators, without vocational skills, majority of Ugandan youth may fail to penetrate into the job market the country’s oil and gas sector can offer in the Albertine region,”said Green.

He said the British government will continue working closely with various development partners and government of Uganda to ensure that the right skills are transferred to the country’s younger generation, saying this will help Uganda in fighting poverty among young people.

The  GIZ  Country  Director, Christian Schnurre  said that  the  natural resources  sector  especially  oil and gas  is going to  be  a  tremendous  source  of jobs  for Ugandans  but oil companies will not compromise on the level of skills required for one to get job in the sector.

“For understandable  reasons  the companies  in the oil and gas sector  will not  lower  their high  standards  to the skills level  available  in Uganda,  it’s up  to Uganda  to raise  the level of its craftsmen  to meet  those international  standards,” said Schnurre.

To ensure that  youth from the oil region get  the required skills, the German government through, GIZ is implementing another project  in the Albertine region  where its supporting five training  institutes to enable them  produce  employable trainees  some of the institutes include Hoima Buhimba  Technical  Institute , Kasese Youth Poly-Technic among others.

Uganda puts up enabling policies for its oil and gas

John Steven Ekomu, the Hoima Resident District Commissioner while officiating at the graduation ceremony said government has put in place many policies which can support the youth to be employed in the gas and oil sector. Some of the policies in place according to government include the 2008 National Oil and Gas policy which provides an enabling environment for the development of the sector.

“This policy promotes capacity building for both the authorities and national entrepreneurs under, this policy the government will ensure that Ugandan youth are equipped with the relevant skills and that is why government established full institute to teach oil and gas related courses” He said.

Reverand Fr. Joseph Bigirwa, the Director of St .Simon Peters Vocational Training Centre challenged the graduates to utilize the skills they have acquired to create jobs for themselves as they wait to be employed by the private sector operating in the oil and gas sector.

“The kills you have achieved through these trainings can support you to start up your own businesses. Currently there’s high demand for fabricated metallic doors and windows, venture into such businesses, this will help some of you to progress in future” he said.

The oil and gas sector will at peak create 160,000 jobs and the biggest number of them will be artisans. According to Honney Malinga of Petroleum Authority Uganda, the country is still facing a challenge of limited skilled personnel to work in the oil and gas sector but asked ladies to embrace these courses.

The YEEP Training project was implemented by GIZ in collaboration with St Simon peters, Vocational Training Center  Hoima. The overall objective of the project was to increase the domestic pool of internationally certified artisans available to take advantages of the job opportunities in the oil and gas sector in the country.

BY SAMUEL NABWIISO