The Government, through a World Bank facility, is to build the capacity of selected tertiary educational institutions to enable them to train petroleum-related technicians in support of the emerging oil and gas industry.
Ghana is to witness the first flow of commercial crude from the Jubilee oil field, located in the Western Region before the end of the year, a development that is expected to lead to a job boom, especially for people with technician related backgrounds.
But there are fears that Ghana could lose out in this venture, as the nation seems not too prepared with a strategy in producing the technicians with the requisite qualifications to support the project.
Visiting the Takoradi Polytechnic stand at the on-going Oil and Gas Education conference at the University of Ghana on Thursday, an Advisor to the Minister of Energy, Mr. Alex Kyei, hinted that the government would soon extend sufficient support to the school to enable it to mount pecialized oil-biased programmes.
He did not disclose the quantum of money involved in the proposed “Oil and Gas Capacity Development Project”, but said it would help address problems regarding training of manpower in support of the oil industry.
Mr. Kyei, a former high raking IMF official, was accompanied to the Takoradi Polytechnic stand by Professor Ernest Aryeetey, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana.
Mr. Kyei said the World Bank facility was meant to augment the capacity of
institutions such as the Takoradi Polytechnic with the necessary infrastructure that would enable them to meet industry demands.
He said Takoradi Polytechnic was included in the facility because it had
tailor-made courses which were relevant to the industry.
He urged Management of the Polytechnic to work assiduously to meet the expectations of the people.
This means that Takoradi Polytechnic must present to the government a strong proposal on the quantum of resources it needs, compete with actionable plans for the implementation of the project to commence.
Mr. S.A.N.K. Tsibuah, Head of Industrial Liaison office of the Polytechnic,
briefed the Vice-Chancellor and the Special Advisor, itemizing areas in which the Polytechnic had a comparative advantage for the promotion of the study of technical and vocational education.
This, he said, included technician programmes in welding, electrical and
electronic engineering, aircraft maintenance, as well as logistics and
Takoradi Polytechnic’s comparative advantage in technician-based oil and gas courses is premised on the fact that it is the tertiary institution closest to the hub of oil activities in the country.
In addition, it has a specific mandate to spearhead the industrialization of the Western Region.
The two-day conference, organized by Getenergy, a UK-based consultancy firm focuses on generating ideas on education and training requirement in the West Africa oil and gas industry.