The Country Manager of MODEC, Neil Woodcock has called for a larger representation of skilled local human resource in the Ghanaian oil and gas industry.
According to him, there is a gap in the skill sets needed for the oil and gas industry.
“Majority of indigenous people who call themselves ‘welders and fabricators’ do not have any formal education and practical training as well as the required international certifications,” he said.
He stated that he lack of certification has made it difficult to engage them in the upstream petroleum sector.
In light of this, MODEC, in collaboration with Tullow Ghana Limited, has funded and constructed a state-of-the-art Welder Training Centre at the Regional Maritime University (RMU) in Accra.
The 1.6 million dollar training centre is expected to spearhead Ghana’s quest to become a major energy hub in the Region.
The first of its kind in Ghana, the centre is equipped with the best welding equipment and training technology in the region.
It will be accredited by the American Welding Society (AWS) and its training programmes will be in modules which will accommodate 20 students at a time.
“This partnership between MODEC and RMU is a mutually benefiting enterprise,” said Ing. Papa Benin, Project Manager MODEC.
“In that both organizations get the opportunity to leave footprints in Ghana’s agenda of becoming labor sufficient in the oil and gas industry and the destination for internationally accepted training programmes and institutions,” he added.
The Regional Maritime University (RMU) a Maritime Educational and Training Institution based in Accra, Ghana sought to bridge this gap by launching its Offshore Oil and Gas Safety Training Centre in February 2010.
The centre was set up to provide cost effective training to Ghanaians to augment the Local Content and Local Participation in Petroleum Activities Policy Framework of the Government of Ghana.
However, due to a shortfall in proper facilities, it lacked the capacity to churn out properly accredited welders to feed the labour needs created by the new oil and gas industry.
Expressing confidence in the initiative, Ing. Addy Lamptey, Provost of the Regional Maritime University, said the project will significantly benefit RMU and raise its profile as a destination for high quality educational and technical training programmes.
“The University is excited at the prospect of now being in the position to provide internationally accepted training and accreditation to boost the labor pool for the Oil and Gas Sector and the engineering associated companies in the country and the region at large,” he said.
The Welder Training Centre is expected to accept its first class of students in July, 2016.