According to him, the development of pre-tertiary technical education is among immediate needs of the country’s oil and gas.
“In addition to the post-graduate scheme, Tullow has this year introduced a scholarship scheme for technical and vocational training at the pre-tertiary level as part of its plans to deepen local content of the oil and gas industry.
“Beneficiaries of this pre-tertiary scholarship scheme will attend the Jubilee Technical Training Centre (JTTC) at Takoradi in the Western Region,” he said.
Technical education is among the areas that lack critical attention, even though it is very critical in developing the much-needed skill-based human resource whose expertise would be tapped in support of government’s plan to aggressively engage the industrial sector for fast-tracking socio-economic growth.
Attention has rather been shifted to non-technical courses which focus more on theories, while areas such as the oil and gas sector need more expertise in technical and vocational training.
Experts have argued that there is a huge gap between what is being taught in our tertiary institutions and what industry actually needs in terms of professional skills and talent.
Tertiary institutions in the country, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, tend to focus more on theory and less on the practical aspects of any subject.
The oil industry began in the country in 2010, with only one field — the offshore Jubilee Field — producing an average of 100,000 barrels of oil per day. But the prospects are said to be great. Two new fields are expected to follow in 2016 and 2017, while several other international oil companies have been licenced and are undertaking exploratory activities.
The introduction of the Tullow Scholarship Scheme to support technical education in the country has come at a time that government is banking on industrialisation to lead the country’s development agenda.
Tullow has for the past five years supported students at the post-graduate level in various oil and gas-related fields as a way of creating a pool of talent for the oil and gas sector.
Mr. Darku said ten scholarships have been awarded to indigenes of the Western Region to kick-start the scholarship scheme’s first phase.
The Minister for Petroleum Emmanuel Kofi Buah congratulated Tullow for broadening the scheme’s scope to include programmes at the pre-tertiary level by awarding 10 scholarships for indigenes of the Western Region to JTTC.
He said this will ensure the development of intermediary technical skills, which is the immediate need of industry in the country.