The Takoradi Technical University in collaboration with Jubilee Technical Training Centre, have conferred internationally recognized City & Guilds certificates on the first batch of trainees of the Accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity (AOGC) building programme.
One hundred and fifty graduates, made up of 127 males and 23 females from diverse technical fields underwent a six-month intensive training in specialized mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, instrumentation and specialized process/production.
The AOGC programme, spearheaded by the Petroleum Commission, Ghana, saw 44 graduands specialized in mechanical engineering, 22 in electrical engineering, 40 in instrumentation and 44 specialized in process/ production engineering.
The six months training comprised of four months of academic work and two months of supervised-industrial attachment.
The AOGC programme, intended to develop the requisite technical skills for the country’s upstream oil and gas and other extractive industries, and to serve as a major boost for the country’s draft localization policy.
Mr Egbert Faibille Jnr, Chief Executive Officer of the Petroleum Commission, said at the graduation ceremony that a total of GHc5.1 million was spent on the training of the beneficiaries.
He said the skills acquired by the beneficiaries would enable them to under-study expatriates who are currently in the upstream industry in the country.
“Over a period, they will be able to take over from the expatriates after gaining practical experiences on the FPSOs and other platforms moored offshore.”
The high number of expatriates in the country’s upstream sector, Mr Faibille Jnr said, would gradually fade away with time under the draft localization policy that the Commission had implemented.
Mr Faibille Jnr said the project was highly sustainable, adding that the technology and the training transfer fees under the petroleum agreements was at hand, and when more funds flowed in, and with support from the industry they would train more youth in the industry.
He said this was the first time such several skilled Ghanaian youths would be trained in international certifications towards building a strong Ghana presence in the global industry.
He said the good thing about the skills development was that, at any point in time, there would be a critical mass of Ghanaians with internationally certified industry-ready skills.
Mr Faibille Jnr said the relevance of the skills being offered would enable the beneficiaries to access jobs as expatriates in other neighbouring countries such as Nigeria, Senegal, and Equatorial Guinea, among others.
Mr Andrew Egyapa Mercer, Deputy Minister of Energy, commended the Petroleum Commission, the Jubilee Technical Training Centre (JTTC) and the TTU for their commitment, which had resulted in the training of the 150 beneficiaries.
He charged the beneficiaries to be proud of themselves, adding that their City and Guild diplomas were vital tools that would open them to a myriad of opportunities.
“Be alert enough to spot those opportunities and be ready to apply yourselves fully when they present themselves.”
Mr Mercer the graduands to use their newly acquired skills and knowledge to contribute their quota to the development and advancement of Ghana’s upstream industry and allied sectors.
“Do not take this lightly, consider it a privilege, as the first batch of beneficiaries trained in Ghana, you are the pioneers and must set a good example for those who follow you.”
Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Western Regional Minister, said with Ghana’s prospects in oil and gas and the growing needs of the population, the AOGC programme was the surest way of promoting local content and local participation in the oil and gas industry for the benefit of the people.
He said the region was ever ready to support that course and similar government initiatives and commended the management of TTU for the decent work done to have trained the beneficiaries in six months with the requisite skills.
The Minister urged the graduates to use the skills acquired to help create a better future for their families, communities, and the country at large.
The Vice Chancellor of TTU, Reverend Professor John Frank Eshun, expressed his appreciation to the JTTC board, the Centre Manager, Prof. John Bentil, instructors and technicians who nurtured the graduands.
He tasked the graduates to create partnerships and consortiums by creating jobs for others, “for it pays to be your own manager in this present time.”
The VC said studies have shown that currently there was an urgent need for technicians in the welding and pipefitting for the oil and gas industry, since the discovery of oil and gas in commercial quantities.
Prof Eshun said in that regard the TTU had among other things, signed an MOU with Petroleum Commission to establish a world-class welding and pipefitting centre at TTU to train Ghanaian youth in that direction.
The AOGC programme was established in 2017 with the prime intention of enhancing the capacity of Ghanaians to enable them access opportunities in the country’s oil sector.
The objectives of the AOGC programme are to ensure the creation of jobs and professional integration pathways and facilitate capacity building of educational facilities as well as training institutions while minimizing the cost of training and improving quality of technical education, among others.
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