Glasgow Caledonian University has signed a partnership agreement with the Petroleum Commission Ghana to design and deliver work-based courses for the African country's growing oil and gas industry.
The partnership will aim to provide thousands of young people in Ghana by giving them the technical knowledge and qualifications to progress their careers within the industry.
Increased oil production played a part in Ghana's achievement of 8.3 per cent economic growth this year.
Currently fewer than half of the technical and management positions in the oil and gas sector are held by Ghanaian employees and local companies are struggling to compete effectively for contracts.
The aim is for the education provided by Glasgow Caledonian to change that over the next five years.
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Fiona Stewart-Knight, director of GCU's School for Work Based Education said: “Our pioneering approach to work-based education, delivered from Scotland to Ghana, and our substantial industrial experience across Africa should ensure the Petroleum Commission’s progress in meeting its objectives for upstream oil and gas.”
Ghana is said to have the sixth largest oil reserve in Africa with the potential for up to seven billion barrels of oil in reserves, placing the country as 25 in the world for proven oil reserves.
It also has up to six trillion cubic feet in natural gas reserves.
Last year, petroleum production generated income of $515 million USD for the government in Ghana, with current production standing at some 160,000 barrels per day.
Under Ghana’s Accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity Programme (AOGC), which the University partnership is part of, around 1000 Ghanaians will be trained each year in technical skills and support will be provided to 200 companies and 300 employees in public institutions.
Professor Pamela Gillies CBE, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said: “It is a tremendous honour to be working in partnership with the government and Petroleum Commission of Ghana to grow the skills and knowledge required to move the local oil and gas sector forward.”
The partnership was initiated following meetings at the Oil and Gas Council Africa’s Assembly in Paris in June. Egbert Faibille Jnr, chief executive officer of the Petroleum Commission Ghana, said:“Our Government wants as many of our young people as possible to train for roles in the upstream oil and gas sector and the AOGC is the pipeline to that destination.”
The university and the Petroleum Commission Ghana will work together to identify where it can best provide knowledge, experience and courses.
The focus is on building capacity in four areas; technical, vocational, apprenticeship development and utilisation; small & medium enterprises; educational and institutional; and public institutions.
Partners for the AOGC Programme include the Ministry of Energy, Aker Energy, Petroleum Commission, and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation.
A number of other organisations are expected to come on board in due course.