Oil sector to employ over 100,000 Ugandans in 3 years

About 100,000 jobs will be generated in the oil sector in Uganda in 3 years as the country evolves from exploration and appraisal to development and production.

This is according to a study by the Industrial Baseline Survey and which was sponsored by three oil companies China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Total and Tullow Oil.

The study that was carried out in Q2 of 2013 however pegs the creation of the jobs on no delays in production although there is ongoing political interference that has already seen Uganda’s production deadlines surpassed by neighboring Kenya.

The peak in generation of employment is expected to be in the second year of development where about 13,000 direct jobs will be created before falling to about 3,000 jobs in the fifth year.

Of the total jobs created a majority will be technicians and craftsmen at about 60 percent while 25 percent will have no education background and only 15 percent will be engineers and managers.

Among the sectors expected to gain from this include: food supply, security services, manpower agencies, road construction, catering, vending, general maintenance and furniture manufacturing.

“The fear is the capability of the private sector and the education system to meet expected standards in the sector,” Total’s corporate affairs manager, Ms Ahlem Friga Noy is quoted saying by The Monitor.

The private sector foundation Uganda executive director Gideon Bagadawa however dampens the hopes that a majority of skilled jobs will fall in the hands of Ugandans.

“I believe there are much more job opportunities than were listed. That aside I believe few Ugandans have the skills required. If these companies advertised these jobs – especially the skilled ones, they will end up in the hands of foreigners,” he told The Monitor.

According to a senior geophycist in the Energy ministry’s petroleum exploration and production department Bernard Ongodia the Ugandan government is however expected to carry out a study to better elaborate the chances the oil sector is expected to bring.

“The transition from exploration and appraisal necessitates the development of required skills so that Ugandans actively participate in the oil and gas sector. It is our hope that local service industry will embrace results of the study and prepare to tap into the sector,” he told The Citizen.

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