One hundred and 49 Ghanaian technicians have graduated with City and Guilds International Vocational Qualifications Level 3 certification under the Petroleum Commission’s Accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity Development Programme, AOGC, hosted by the Jubilee Technical Training Centre in Takoradi Technical University. They graduated after pursuing six-month hands-on technician training programme in mechanical, electrical, instrumentation and process engineering to be attractive to job opportunities in the Petroleum industry.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony, the Vice Chancellor of Takoradi Technical University, Rev. Prof. John Frank Eshun, said TTU collaborated with the Petroleum Commission on training for the industry to support government’s local content agenda to train Ghanaian expertise for the petroleum sector.
Rev. Prof. John Frank Eshun-Vice Chancellor, TTU
“when Ghana discovered oil and gas in commercial quantities and subsequently started production, little or no efforts were made in ensuring that Ghanaians have the requisite knowledge and the skills to contribute to the production of these hydrocarbons, hence most of the jobs related to the upstream and downstream oil and gas sector were left in the hands of expatriates. With the rising unemployment among the youth in the country, the government deliberately carved an agenda of ensuring that the Ghanaian youth plays a pivotal role in the exploration, exploitation and the management of these hydrocarbons both the upstream and downstream, hence the training of the 150 beneficiaries for the AOGC programme…In ensuring that this laudable agenda come to being, the Petroleum Commission tactfully selected 150 beneficiaries from the length and breadth of the country and assemble them at Jubilee Technical Training Centre in Takoradi Technical University where they underwent intensive hands-on-skills training in oil and gas and other related fields“, he said.
While commending the Jubilee Partners for its support in creating the enabling environment for training of petroleum technicians in TTU, Prof. John Frank Eshun said the university is deepening its collaboration to train more professionals for the petroleum sector.
“currently there is an urgent need for technicians in the welding and pipefitting for the oil and gas sector since the discovery of oil and gas in commercial quantities. It is in this vein, that, Takoradi Technical University has again entered into an MoU with Petroleum Commission to establish a world-class Welding and Pipefitting Centre at TTU to train Ghanaian youths in this direction. We are extremely grateful to the Petroleum Commission for sponsoring some staff of the University currently undergoing training at North Alberta Institute of Technology, Canada”
“Moreso, the University has signed MoU with Aberdeen Drilling School, ADS, to offer professional training programmes by ADS specialists at TTU facilities. The training will comprise Workforce Development, Drilling engineer development programmes, Well Control for drilling and well intervention, Specialist training for well operation among others…This agreement will go a long way to empower Ghanaians to be marketable in the oil and gas and its allied industry“, he added.
The Chief Executive Officer of Petroleum Commission, Egbert Faibille Jnr said the high cost of training has been one of the reasons for the few Ghanaian technicians working in the three Ghanaian oil fields, forcing International Oil Companies, IOCs, to rely on expatriates to do the work. While giving a breakdown of the AOGC programme, Egbert Faibille Jnr. said it is a game changer for Ghanaians to play major role in the industry hence government spent GH5.1 million on their training.
“Today we have a core of 149 Ghanaians who are internationally certified and can work on offshore platforms and installations as well as other industries where their competences are in demand. Off the 149 graduates today, 43 graduates are City and Guilds International Vocational Qualification IVQ Level 3 Mechanical Technicians, 22 are IVQ Level 3 Technicians, 44 are IVQ Level 3 Process Technicians and 41 are IVQ Level 3 Instrumentation Technicians. This cost the Petroleum Commission $7,500 per each of the graduates by way of the direct cost of acquiring the certifications I have mentioned…In total, the commission spent GH5.1 million for this training programme“, he said.
Egbert Faibille-CEO, Petroleum Commission
The CEO of the Petroleum Commission however challenged graduates to justify their training by contributing to the Ghanaian industry.
“The best way to show appreciation to government and people of Ghana for this investment in your respective futures is to commit to work in Ghana and help reduce the cost of oil and gas production so that the IOC’s and the government of Ghana will spend less in exploration and production of our oil flows from the standpoint of job role localization“, he added.
He commended various companies that opened their doors to provide supervised industrial attachment for trainees to ensure their successful completion of the six-month programme.
Andrew Agyapa Mercer-Deputy Energy Minister
The Deputy Energy Minister, Andrew Agyapa Mercer who represented the sector Minister in his address to the congregation commended TTU for its role in capacity building for the industry.
“To the Takoradi Technical University, we are grateful for being a bridge between industry and academia. We remain committed to many more of these strategic partnerships in the interest of our fledging oil and gas industry“, he said
The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah praised the partnership between Petroleum Commission and Takoradi Technical University to build capacity for the industry as well as the increasing Western Regional share in their trainings.
“It gives me joy not only to be part of today's graduation ceremony of the 150 young Ghanaians who have completed their study from the Takoradi Technical University but also to observe that over 23% of the trainees come from the Western region alone. Clearly, PC is understanding our request for local-local content. With the prospects of
Ghana's oil and gas sector and the growing needs of our population, I do not doubt that the AOGC programme is the surest way of promoting local content and local participation in the oil and gas industry for the benefit of our people...I cannot be less proud of Takoradi Technical University (TTU), and what they have been able to achieve so far, our sincere gratitude goes to the Vice Chancellor and his able Faculty Members for the good work they have done in the last six (6) months. TTU has once again demonstrated its splendid record of technical and vocational training”, he said.
Representing the TTU Council Chairman, a Council Member, Ingineer Dr. Robert Adjaye noted that one challenge that has faced Ghana’s petroleum industry is getting the right hands to work in the industry hence TTU’s partnership with the Petroleum Commission in building capacity holds potential to provide the needed local workforce for the industry. He added that TTU is very much ready to partner the PC to train more world-class professionals for the industry. Ingineer Dr. Robert Adjaye further urged the graduates to ensure investments made in training them yield results.
Joe Osei Wusu-First Deputy Speaker of Parliament
First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Osei Wusu, who graced the graduation ceremony commended the PC and TTU for taking the lead in training Ghanaians for the petroleum industry.