Victoria University under the Department of Petroleum and Energy Studies has hosted delegates from Tanzania and Uganda at its premises in Kampala in a move to consolidate achievements registered in the promotion of oil and gas education.
The department head Dr Drake Kyalimpa said the course was to equip participants with skills to manage health, safety and environment efficiently and effectively within the Oil and Gas industry and other non-oil and gas sectors.
The International Certification Course completed last week was titled, “Managing Safely in the Oil and Gas Industry”.
The special course was accredited by the Institute of Occupation Safety and Health (IOSH) and conducted by Global Environmental managers, UK and coordinated by Africa Centre for Energy and Mineral Policy (ACEMP).
Africa’s Oil and Gas sector continues to show substantial growth, despite regulatory uncertainty and corruption.
The skills obtained by Victoria University are relevant since Uganda’s major priority next financial year will be commencement of detailed engineering studies for the Oil Refinery, following the selection of a Lead Investor on a Private-Public Partnership (PPP) basis.
Government shall also fast track infrastructure development for the commercialization of oil, including the development of an airport, as already alluded to earlier, near the Oil Refinery project site at Hoima.
According to Government will also continue the exploration and production of oil and other valuable minerals such as Iron Ore and Phosphates, and also concretize the development of the Crude Oil Pipeline to the Indian Ocean and petroleum products pipelines.
Officials say the skills gap remains wide.
In 2012, the survey showed that 25 percent of the total workforce at respondents’ companies comprised expatriates in Africa.
This year, the proportion of expatriates has dropped significantly – down to a mere 10.6 percent of the workforce surveyed.
The interventions from Victoria University are timely.
The University’s Vice Chancellor Dr Stephen Robert Isabalija says oil and gas courses empower graduates to fill the employment gap being faced by Uganda.
“We continue to provide the labour market with well trained graduates in the budding oil and gas sector,” he said in an interview with Chimpreports recently.
He further said Victoria University has partnered with U.S.-based IP3 (Institute of Private Public Partnerships), to deliver courses in private-public partnerships accrediting the Oil and Gas courses for Victoria University.