The Jubilee Partners are to commit over US$4.7 million for the construction of Jubilee Technical Training Centre (JTTC) at the Takoradi Polytechnic.
The amount includes project-management costs, equipment and laboratory fittings. The centre is to train the needed manpower for the oil and gas industry as well as keep the nascent industry buoyant and give true meaning to the indigenisation policy.
Also, the centre is to be the flagship facility for training the youth in two critical areas for the oil and gas industry, namely processing engineering and instrumentation and control.
Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony for the project, Rev. Prof. Daniel Nyarko, the Rector of the Takoradi Polytechnic, explained that these programmes will provide the youth with employable skills for the oil and gas industry to meet the government’s policy of 90% local content by the year 2020.
“This project has been on the top-priority list of management in our quest to reap from our proximity to the oil find,” he added. He said the expected outcome is to provide critical skills-training opportunities for the youth in the Western Region in particular, and the country as a whole.
“As part of the preparation for the smooth take-off of the training programme, four staff members have undergone training in the United Kingdom (UK) and are back at post. They are ready to form the core training staff of the centre and another batch of four will soon leave for the training in the UK,” he said.
Mr. Paul Evans Aidoo, the Western Regional Minister, noted that many people in the country, particularly the indigenes in the region, are anxious and thus contemplate whether the oil industry will be a curse or a blessing and to what extent the local communities would be affected looking at examples from other countries.
“Today’s ceremony gives us hope that with proper structures in place, we can make it a blessing,” he said. He pointed out that the project is coming at the right time to eliminate the numerous quack and mushroom oil, gas and petroleum institutions springing up in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis.
He noted that the oil and gas industry has also given rise to a renewed hope in the socio-economic wellbeing of the citizens “as we look forward to the country diversifying its economy to increase job-creation and poverty-alleviation among others.”
He said the setting-up of the training centre means the human-resource base for the oil and gas industry is going to be enhanced.
“This implies that a time would come when Ghanaians would play a major role in the oil production process, and I call on the private sector agencies and institutions, especially oil-related institutions, to also come on board to assist our youth in acquiring the necessary skills needed in the sector.”
Mr. Aidoo, said government is committed to a transparent way of using the oil revenue to address the serious problems of universal primary education, empowering small-scale industries, diversifying agriculture and promoting a culture of savings to positively influence the lives of ordinary citizens.
Mr. Kofi Esson, the Chief of Staff of Tullow Ghana Limited, said the Jubilee Partners have been working on the project for almost two years, and “it is among the first that we thought of from the discovery.”
He said the Jubilee Partners are funding the spatial planning of six coastal communities including Sekondi-Takoradi to ensure a planned and orderly development of these districts to prevent the springing up of slums.
He pointed out that almost three years ago, the Jubilee Partners sponsored 14 Ghanaian graduates to various universities in the United Kingdom to pursue second degrees in oil and gas-related disciplines.
“The beneficiaries are back in the country today working in the public sector where they belong, and are making valuable contributions in the sector.”
He expressed hope that the project will contribute to providing the requisite skills not only for the oil and gas industry, but the skills needed for the industrial development of the nation.