One hundred and fifty Ghanaian youth across the country have benefitted from the Accelerated Oil and Gas (AOGC) Programme at the Jubilee Technical Training Center to fill the skills gap in the country’s oil and gas industry.
This cohort is made up of 127 males and 23 females. They were trained in four thematic areas: Process, Instrumentation, Mechanical and Electrical within a period of six months.
They have graduated with the renowned City and Guilds International Vocational Qualifications Level 3 certification, which makes them qualified for employment globally in the upstream petroleum and other allied industries.
The AOGC Programme was established with the goal of aggressive investment in education and skills enhancement for Ghanaians to manage the country’s oil and gas sector.
Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister for Energy, in a speech read on his behalf at the graduation ceremony held at the Takoradi Technical University (TTU) said: “Ever since Ghana became a commercial producer of oil and gas, we have lost out on opportunities for our indigenous technicians to play lead roles in the sector due to the skills gap”.
He said it is therefore necessary for more Ghanaians to be equipped with the relevant skills and competencies to actively participate in the country’s oil and gas industry.
He explained that the AOGC Programme was established in 2017 by President Nana Akufo-Addo with the goal of aggressive investment in education and skills enhancement of Ghanaians to manage the country’s oil and gas sector.
“My understanding is that the total cost of their tuition, certification, boarding, lodging and monthly stipends amounted to GH¢3,897,500 and was borne by the Petroleum Commission – and by extension government,” he added.
“Your graduation today should serve as a springboard, projecting you to wherever your futures are meant to take you. So, whether you land yourselves a career, take up a trade, or continue your education at university or vocational/technical school, keep up the hard work and dedication to excellence that has brought you this far.
“This graduation has already shown us how capable we all are of accomplishing our goals when we commit ourselves to them,” Dr. Opoku-Prempeh said.
Chief Executive Officer of Petroleum Commission, Egbert Faibille, mentioned that the graduates were fully sponsored and that US$7,500 was spent on each of the students.
“This includes tuition fees, monthly stipend among others. In total, the Petroleum Commission has spent a total of GH¢5.1m for the training programme,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer of Kosmos Energy, Joe Mensah said: “Local content development is very necessary in our country; we cannot allow expatriates to run the show in the oil and gas sector”.
He encouraged the graduates to develop their love of learning and broaden their horizons in the environment where they will be working.
Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Western Regional Minister, commended the Petroleum Commission for its continued support and training in the oil and gas sector.
He said the Regional Coordinating Council is ever ready to support any programme of the Commission for growth of the oil and gas industry.
First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu said: “You are among the luckiest people to be trained by the Petroleum Commission; put whatever you have learnt into practice”.
Vice Chancellor of the Takoradi Technical University, Prof. John Frank Eshun, expressed appreciation to the JTTC board, technicians and instructors who nurtured the graduates.
“I believe you will not disappoint the Petroleum Commission which has invested heavily in you; do not let the knowledge and skills you have acquired become stale with the notion that there is no one to employ you.”
He advised them to create partnerships and consortiums, and start creating jobs for others: “It pays to be your own manager in this present time,” he said.