By Ibrahim Kasita
VICTORIA University Uganda has partnered with Scotlandâ€™s Colleges to offer skills training to support oil sector.
The Kiira Road-based university will provide a â€œone-stopâ€ access point for meeting the training needs.
â€œWe have learnt that lack of technical expertise and operation skills specific to the oil sector is a major bottleneck to the gainful employment and participation of Ugandans in the oil sector,â€ Prof. Martin Oâ€™Hara, the Victoria University Chancellor, said.
â€œWe are addressing this skills gap by working in collaboration with our British partners,â€ Prof. Oâ€™Hara said at the signing of the partnership last week.
Scotlandâ€™s Colleges, is a government agency, which markets academic programmes for up to 43 universities across Scotland.
Prof. Oâ€™Hara said the partnership targets the critical interface between industry, professional practice, graduate study and practical training by providing an integrated range of research, training and consultancy services.
Oil companies do not provide many direct jobs but jobs are in contracts and sub-contracts. 70% of the jobs are in welding and building.
â€œWorking with our British partners we can provide certificate, diploma, degree and postgraduate programmes leading to internationally recognized British accreditation,â€ Prof Oâ€™Hara said. â€œWe are especially interested in meeting the demands of the nascent oil industry in which international recognised certification is critically important.â€
Victoria will also set up a training portal which will work with corporate clients to establish the training needs of the organisations.
â€œWhere possible, the training will be provided in Uganda. However, in some cases, the need to access sophisticated equipment and expertise may mean that part of the programme will involve some training being delivered in the UK,â€ Oâ€™Hara stated.
Michelle Grimley, the Scotlandâ€™s Colleges business development executive, said they provide quality training for an increasingly sophisticated workforce. She said 500,000 students were benefiting under the programme.