Mr Egbert Faibille Junior, Chief Executive Officer of the Petroleum Commission, has announced that the Commission in collaboration with the Takoradi Technical University (TTU) would soon operate a World – Class Centre for welding and pipefitting at the TTU.
He said currently there was no Ghanaian educational institution teaching and awarding certificates in welding and pipe fitting which are critical tools in the oil and gas and allied industries.
The CEO who said this at the Ghana Welding Bureau (GWB) consultative forum in Takoradi on Thursday, indicated that courses that would be offered at the centre would have equal standards with the International Welding Bureau.
The consultative forum was to among others, solicit views from stakeholders and artisanal welders on how to move forward the Ghana Welding Bureau which was launch in February this year.
Mr Faibille explained that Indigenous Ghanaian welders are to become competitive and play key roles in the upstream petroleum industry with the establishment of the Ghana Welding Bureau (GWB).
He said it was time to change the narrative and that the country has over the years lost opportunities for indigenous welders to be employed to play critical roles in the industry though there were thousands who qualified.
He said the centre would ensure that welding training and certification in Ghana met international standards to pave the way for the youth to be employed in the oil and gas, mining, automotive, and other allied industries.
The CEO urged artisanal welders, students who are offering welding and fabrication courses to take advantage of the world class centre to acquire certificates that would offer them jobs outside the country as expatriates.
He also called on institutions offering welding and fabrication to introduce health and safety management in their curriculum.
Mr Faibille Jnr indicated that the establishment of the world welding centre was not a talk show and that currently eight instructors /lecturers from TTU, Ho Technical University , Tamale Technical University KoforiduaTechnical University and kikam Technical Institute were at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NATI) Edmonton, Canada to begin a 10 month training dubbed, “Becoming a master instructor”(BMI) programme for international qualifications in pipe fitting, welding and millwright/mechanical engineering.
He said five others have already successfully completed their training and have been deployed at the Kikam, Takoradi, Kumasi Technical Institutes and the Takoradi Technical University as welding instructors.
On the GWB, Mr Faibille Jnr said it was aimed at becoming a licensed welding professional body under the Engineering Council Act of 2011 (Act 819).
He explained that the Bureau was established under the auspices of the Commission to oversee the development of a world class welding industry in Ghana.
“It also seeks to be registered under the Professional Bodies Registration Act, of 1973. NRCD 143,”.
According to him, the GWB is a non-profit, non-governmental body that sought to represent the welding profession in Ghana and be responsible for the certification and registration of companies and individuals involved in the welding and allied operations.
Dr Paul Frempong a Consultant at the Commission who took participants through the benefits of membership with GWB and how to become a member, said the Bureau sought to facilitate the development of welding science, technology, and engineering in Ghana, and promote the optimum use and innovation in welding and joining technologies.
He said it would be under the framework of a professional certification and regulatory authority just as the Canadian Welding Bureau and the American Welding Society.
Dr Frempong said the Bureau would collaborate with relevant technical institutions to ensure that Ghanaian training providers offered standardized training and qualification of welders to international standards.
“The Bureau will also provide technical advice to Engineering Council on regulation of welding practice in Ghana and assess and validate the authenticity of foreign welding certificates submitted for welding works in the upstream petroleum sector,” he added.
Reverend Professor John Frank Eshun, Vice Chancellor of TTU commended the Commission for its commitment to establishing the world class welding centre at TTU and stressed that Ghana was on the way to development and therefore needed standardization to meet world demands.
“We can’t grow as a country with the current attitude to issues we really need to standardize”, he stated.
The Vice Chancellor pointed out that the welders in Ghana would have their voices heard if they are part of the GWB and urged them to support the Bureau to make it workable to enhance growth and development in Ghana.