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Grooming professionals in the oil sector

By Vision Reporter

Added 1st September 2012 04:04 PM

Amabel Tabaaza enrolled for a two year diploma at Uganda Petroleum Institute in Kigumba (UPIK) She was one of the beneficiaries that attained a scholarship to train in Trinidad and Tobago. Tabaaza spent 10 months in the country and was awarded an international certificate after the training.

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Amabel Tabaaza enrolled for a two year diploma at Uganda Petroleum Institute in Kigumba (UPIK) She was one of the beneficiaries that attained a scholarship to train in Trinidad and Tobago. Tabaaza spent 10 months in the country and was awarded an international certificate after the training.

By Joyce Nyakato
 
Amabel Tabaaza enrolled for a two year diploma at Uganda Petroleum Institute in Kigumba (UPIK)
She was one of the beneficiaries that attained a scholarship to train in Trinidad and Tobago. Tabaaza spent 10 months in the country and was awarded an international certificate after the training.
 
Now back in Kampala, she hopes to be employed in the oil sector. She is among the 31 students from UPIK who have benefited from the apprenticeship in Trinidad and Tobago. Uganda Petroleum Institute is a Government- owned, national centre training people in the field of petroleum exploration, recovery, refinement and responsible utilisation in Uganda.
 
Because Trinidad and Tobago already has an established oil infrastructure, students from the institute continue to benefit from the hands-on training to hone their skills in the field.
 
According to Prof Charles Kwesiga, the head of the institute, Trinidad and Tobago has been a supporting partner in the energy sector. Together, the countries have formed a partnership to develop manpower for the oil sector.
“The sector is demanding as far as skills are concerned. The oil sector needs a special skill to be managed better,” he says.
 
The discovery of vast oil reserves in the pristine Albertine region of Uganda has been a cause for celebration across the country.
 
However, it would take time for Uganda to cash in on the revenues. Oil has the potential to create thousands of jobs and help the country fulfill its wish of becoming highly industrialised. However, who would employ unskilled people to manage the resources?
 
An employer would not accept half-baked skills; they would demand for international certification hence the need for a specialized practical training.
 
For Uganda to avoid the oil curse, it is important to reach out to other countries, which have relied on the oil and gas sector to boost economy and provide jobs for many citizens in the country.
 
“With no experience to base on, we need to base on those with a successful oil sector,” says Professor Kwesiga on the relationship between Ugandan and Trinidad and Tobago in the Oil sector.
 
Trinidad has been exemplary in empowering people to manage their oil resources. Luckily, their success story has been made available.
 
So far, 31 students have benefited from the apprenticeship while seven have returned in the country with international accreditation.
 
According to Tabaaza, many of her colleagues from the host country have already been absorbed into the oil sector, which is the biggest employer in the country. Their oil sector has made an effort to equip locals with the skills so as to boost their employment levels.
 
With more Ugandans receiving the training, a number of them will be absorbed into the fl edging sector thereby increasing the employment levels of Uganda.
 
When the resources are maximised and people are able to benefit from the oil revenue, Uganda will begin its transformation to a middle-income country.
 

 

Grooming professionals in the oil sector

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