Neil Woodcock, Country Manager of MODEC, has called for the upgrade of skills of personnel in Ghana’s oil and gas industry.
He said there is a gap in the skill sets needed for the oil and gas industry.
“The 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.
“This lack of certification makes the engagement of Ghanaian welders difficult 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 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.”
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 meet the labour needs of operators in the new oil and gas industry.
Ing. Addy Lamptey, Provost of the Regional Maritime University, expressed hope that the initiative will significantly benefit RMU and raise their profile as a destination for high quality educational and technical training programmes.
The welder training centre is expected to accept its first class of students in July.