The Ministry of Education has secured Shs20b to upgrade facilities at Uganda Petroleum Institute Kigumba (UPIK) and Uganda Technical College Kichwamba (UTCK) to provide first rate training in oil and gas sectors.
Mr Alex Kakooza, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, yesterday said the government signed a contract with oil companies to train Ugandans who will be employed in the oil sector when production starts.
Mr Kakooza said the money is meant for civil works training facilities and provision of training equipment at both institutes that will be used to equip students.
“Civil works are for support to skilling Ugandans in oil and gas. That is in fulfillment of the contract the government made with the oil companies with the main plan that when oil exploitation finally begins, Uganda should take the first option when companies are giving employment,” Mr Kakooza said.
He said government was supposed to revamp the two institutes two years ago but the process delayed due to several hitches. The PS urged the contractor to mobilise their workforce before the end of this week and start construction next week.
Mr Abdul Nsubuga, the project coordinator, said UPIK will attain electrical, welding and refurbishment, maintenance and instrumentation workshops while Kichwamba will get carpentry and joinery workshop, electrical, welding and plumbing.
“Oil and gas deals with a lot of pipes, so we want our children to be able to install and maintain them. We are going to teach our students 70 per cent of practical and 30 per cent of theories,” Mr Nsubuga said.
“Many Ugandans are not taking up oil and gas courses but we are seeing other people from the region taking up these courses. If Ugandans do not take this serious, the oil companies will look somewhere for human resources and we shall make loss as a country,” he added.