Oil companies will not lower standards for unskilled workers

Ugandans seeking to be employed in the oil and gas sector should be prepared to meet industry standards because oil companies are unwilling to lower the bar.

Tullow Uganda General Manager Jimmy Mugerwa said yesterday the company and its joint venture partners will not accommodate ill-skilled employees.

Tullow, CNOOC and Total in 2014 conducted an Industrial Baseline Survey for the Lake Albert Basin Development Project and outlined key skills and jobs required by the sector during different stages.

The survey found that the Lake Albert Development project will create between 100,000 to 150,000 jobs through direct, indirect and induced employment.

The survey said most of the jobs will be at technician level and the number will be very limited with a range of 11,000 to 15,000.

Mugerwa called for increased skills training for Ugandans based on the needs of the oil and gas industry as a strategy to enable Ugandans to take up the jobs on offer.

A number of technicians have been trained in preparation for the development stage in 2020 when first oil is expected out of the ground.

Mugerwa said the oil companies have sponsored a number of Ugandans for training but they may not be enough.

Tullow and partners said a major challenge relating to human resources is that some of those that have been trained are yet to be certified to comply with oil and gas standards.

Uganda's oil and gas sector has transitioned from the exploration and appraisal phase to the development phase in preparation for production of the petroleum resources.

It is expected that the industry could provide more jobs once the new entrants in the sector begin exploration work.

The oil companies currently licensed in the country to undertake petroleum exploration, development and production are - China National Offshore Oil Corporation Uganda Limited (CNOOC (U) Ltd), Total E&P Uganda B.V and Tullow Uganda Operations Pty Limited and the latest entrants; Oranto Petroleum of Nigeria and Armour Energy of Australia.

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