US$ 1.6 million Welder Training Centre Inaugurated

A $1.6 million state-of-the-art Welder Training Centre, has been inaugurated at the Regional Maritime University (RMU) to help increase the pool of skilled labour for the oil and gas industry.

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Spining

The Centre built by MODEC and Tullow Ghana Limited in partnership with the RMU would be accredited by the American Welding Society (AWS) and its training programmes would be in modules, which would accommodate 20 students at a time.

Welder Training Centre
Welder Training Centre

Equipped with the best welding equipment and training technology, the Centre is the first of its kind in the sub-region.

Inaugurating the facility on behalf of President John Dramani Mahama during the 10th Congregation of the RMU, Mr Fifii Kwetey Minister of Transport, said the Centre’s establishment is a demonstration of government’s quest to provide the enabling environment for the training of locals to acquire the required skillset for the job market in the oil and gas industry.

He said the oil and gas industry is not labour intensive but requires relevant specialised skills that meet international requirements to facilitate the involvement of greater percentage of locals in the Ghanaian upstream petroleum sector.

“As more fields are developed there will be a need to augment the infrastructure to support these skillsets as well as the manpower requirements,” Mr Kwetey said.

This is the area where the oil contractors are likely to employ the larger majority of the man-hours and indeed, where the effectiveness of the local content and participation would be greatly impacted.

“It is my hope that as a government with the aim of creating sustainable jobs for the youth, this package will turn out well skilled persons with the right attitude to carry the nation into the next phase of our economic transformation,” he said.

Welding and fabrication have been identified as the skillset that locals lack in the oil and gas industry while many local welders lack the formal education and practical training in welding as well as the required international certifications.

Mr Kwetey said the lack of certification makes the engagement of Ghanaian welders very difficult in the upstream petroleum sector necessitating the move by MODEC Ghana and Tullow Oil Ghana Limited to fund and construct the Welder Training Centre to properly equip locals in welding and fabrication.

Mr Charles Darku, the Managing Director of Tullow Ghana Limited, said the collaborative effort of Tullow and MODEC underscored the collective commitment to local content and the development of the communities in the operational areas.

“For us at Tullow Ghana, Technical and Vocational Education and the creation of enhanced opportunities for participation by Ghanaians in the oil and gas industry have been an important part of our social investment strategy,” he said.

Mr Darku said to ensure adequate power for the centre to run smoothly, MODEC and Tullow had also provided and installed a new 2MVA Transformer with the associated switchboards and breakers.

“Education and capacity building remain high on Tullow Ghana’s agenda and we will continue to focus on projects which create mutual value and enhance capacity building through education and skills development,” Mr Darku.

Mr Puneet Sharma, Vice President, MODEC said responsible to stakeholders.

Professor Elvis Nyarko, Vice Chancellor, RMU said the Centre would run modules and also identify skill sets and develop programmes in line with other scheduled courses.

The Welder Training Centre is expected to accept its first class of students in July.

SouRce: GNA

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