Govt gets Shs25b loan for Kigumba oil college

Kampala. The World Bank has approved a loan of $10 million (about Shs25 billion) for the development of Uganda Petroleum Institute Kigumba (UPIK).“We want to see Uganda realise her goal of training the required human resource in the oil sector,” said Ms Elizabeth Ninan, a senior Education Specialist for the World Bank, at the launch of UPIK five-year development plan in Kampala, on Thursday.

The package is part of $545 million (about Shs1.3 trillion) the World Bank is planning to lend to Uganda through the Albertine Region Sustainable Development Project. The five-year project will improve facilities at UPIK, procure equipment and develop a new curriculum for the institute.

Prof Charles Kwesiga , the chairperson UPIK management, said besides the two-year diploma course in oil studies currently offered at the institute , they plan to start five new courses which include Petroleum Engineering in Upstream Operations, Chemical Engineering Technology, Industrial Maintenance, Instrument Technician and Electrical Maintenance Technician programmes.

Not bearing fruits?However, despite the huge investment in the institute, its pioneer graduates say they have failed to get employment despite their new skills in the sector.

The former students, mostly technicians in electrical maintenance and petroleum engineering, say they have been rejected by various employers in the sector for lack of working experience.

“When some companies aertise the jobs, we apply but they don’t shortlist us simply because there is still that notion that only expatriates can do the work,” said Mr Moses Munguryek Onegi, former UPIK guild president.

He said out of 31 pioneer students who graduated in 2012, only one has been employed.

UPIK has since 2012 churned out at least 80 graduates with diplomas in petroleum studies after a two-year study.

Prof Kwesiga said UPIK has played its part to equip the students with the skills and finding employment for them is the government’s duty.According to the 2013 Industrial Baseline Survey, the petroleum manpower requirements will peak in mid-2017 at 13,000. The vast majority of these jobs are in the construction industry and between 2019 and 2030, technical jobs will jump to 3,000, with 60 per cent in skilled technical disciplines below degree level.

-UPIK was established in 2009 by government to train technicians for Uganda’s oil and gas sector.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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