Makerere Business School has churned out 60 graduates of an advanced oil and gas management essentials training. The 60 step into the seemingly “oily” field but they will definitely be shocked to discover that they may have to tread a rugged terrain in their pursuit of success in the increasingly competitive sector. In the recent past, students trained within Uganda have been finding it hard to get the available oil jobs.
Though, to capture this in a more positive light, the 60 are a welcome addition to the local pool of Ugandans acquiring skills for the budding industry that is yet to have what can essentially be considered adequate numbers of the locally trained. At least the graduates can find solace in the fact that the government will continue to push the oil companies into employing local people unless special expertise is needed.
Makerere University Business School in partnership with Quest Energy, a local entity has been running the two month training, now in its third session. The course sets out basic detail of the industry capturing the history of the industry, stakeholders, business intricacies, opportunities as well as legal implications among others.
Patrick Ruharuza, chief executive of Quest Energy says the training team has expanded while the content is being refined. He says they are now targeting a post graduate, Bachelors and Masters of Science in oil and gas by mid 2014.
Quest is looking to partner with some foreign universities to introduce accredited courses. Most of the training has been done in Europe denying local institutions the opportunity to develop the needed skills sets.
State minister for energy Peter Lokeris commends Quest Energy for being one of the emerging local entities that have put one foot in the industry that still has doubters especially about the skills levels of Ugandans.
But Lokeris also urges the graduates to position themselves in the industry and become relevant so as not to be left out of its fortunes.
“Very soon after the enactment of oil and gas laws, there will be need for new institutions like the national oil company. They must be run by people who I see graduating today.” Lokeris says