Story by Chimpreports
As Uganda counts months to the projected first oil year, one of the oil companies, Total Uganda, has forewarned of a possible work force crisis, especially in the vocational area.
Total Uganda said while much emphasis was being placed on producing highly trained manpower in universities, there was need to equally promote semi-skilled work force which is demanded in bigger numbers.
The energy company is currently pursuing a training programme for university students in which a number of fresh graduates each year are awarded an 18 months’ working contract to work therein to enhance their skills.
Total Uganda’s Managing Director, Mr Imrane Barry, however, notes that in addition to this top quality labour force, the country would need to prepare even more vocational workers, especially when time comes for a lot of construction to take place.
“You cannot begin to imagine the number of plumbers, welders, electricians, fitters, scaffolders etc that will be needed here in a near future,” he said. “Generating a good size of this kind of workforce Mr Barry said would take both government’s relentless efforts in partnership with the oil companies and civil society.”
The skills of these people he noted are transferable and that if they are able to take advantage of the available opportunities, they would be on high demand regionally.
“If Uganda is to become the first country in the region to produce oil, when other countries like Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania start producing their own later, they will need to come here to get specialists.”