By Desmond Cudjoe
One hundred and fifty Ghanaians including 23 women have graduated from the Jubilee Technical Training Centre, JTTC of the Takoradi Technical University, TTU as job market-ready technicians for the upstream petroleum and allied industries under the Accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity Building Programme, AOGC.
Ghana lost the opportunity for its technicians to play the lead role in the upstream petroleum industry since it discovered oil in commercial quantities due to the skulls gap.
The AOGC was therefore launched by President Akuffo-Addo in 2017 to enhance the capacities of Ghanaians to enable them to obtain requisite and internationally recognized certification to work in the upstream petroleum sector.
Under the programme, five Ghanaians were selected to undertake training in Advanced Welding in Canada who have since returned and deployed as Welding Instructors at Takoradi, Kikam and Kumasi Technical Institute as well as the Takoradi Technical University.
The second batch of 150 students’ degrees and Higher HND certificates from across the country also underwent six months of intensive training comprising four months of academic work at the JTTC and two months of supervised hands-on practical training in the industry.
They have graduated as Instrumentation, Mechanical and Electrical Technicians with the City and Guilds International Vocational Qualification, IVQ, Level III. The training was fully funded by the Petroleum Commission, PC at a cost of GHC 5.1million.
The Chief Executive of the Petroleum Commission, Mr Egbert Faibille Jnr explained that the fully sponsored training program is in furtherance of the need to train Ghanaian youth to internationally accepted standards to enable them to qualify for job roles in the upstream Oil and Gas sector.
“The PC is desirous of seeing more Ghanaians with the requisite skills taking over from the expatriates in line with Local Content Policy”.
The Vice-Chancellor of the TTU, Professor John Frank Eshun said it is expected that the beneficiaries acquaint themselves well in all their chosen profession after receiving such world-class training from the University.
He reminded graduates of the responsibility on their shoulders and urged them not to disappoint the Petroleum Commission, given the heavy investment.
Professor Eshun encouraged the graduands to endeavour to create partnerships and consortiums that will help in creating jobs for others.
The Western Regional Minister, Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah described the AOGC programme as the surest way to promote local content and local participation in the industry.
A Deputy Minister of Energy, Mr Andrews Agyapa Mercer said the government will continue to pursue policies that will place Ghanaians at the centre of the industry by embarking capacity building programmes to take advantage of such opportunities.
He said the objective of the training programme is for graduands to use their newly acquired skills and knowledge to contribute to the development and advancement of Ghana’s upstream industry and allied sectors.
Mr Mercer appealed to the graduands to serve their employers and by extension Mother Ghana diligently
He expressed appreciation to the Petroleum Commission, the managers of the AOGC Programme, for their continuous effort at ensuring the “Programme grows from strength to strength and to the Takoradi Technical University, for being a bridge between industry and the State”.