Youth Encouraged to Prepare for Job Opportunities in the Oil Sector

The Petroleum Authority of Uganda(PAU)’s Stakeholder Engagement and Corporate Affairs Manager, Ms Gloria Ssebikari has revealed that the extractives sector will offer many opportunities for young people, if they acquire appropriate skills.

Ms Ssebikari made the revelation while speaking at the Annual Youth Extractives Conference, organised by Transparency International Uganda, at Imperial Royale Hotel, Kampala on 31/1/2020, Under the theme “Youth inclusion for better governance in Uganda’s extractives industry.” The summit aimed at strengthening the voices of Ugandan youth to make them a key player and watchdog for accountability and good governance in the extractives sector.

“On a whole, Uganda has eight institutions offering training for the oil sector related skills and close to 600 bursaries are offered annually for oil sector related courses. “Young people should tap into these opportunities to attain appropriate skills for the sector.” Ms Ssebikari said.

According to the Industrial Baseline Survey carried out in 2013, the estimated workforce required for oil fields development as well as oil pipelines and refinery construction, will lead to creation of 161,700 jobs. Of this work force, 15 percent are estimated to be professionals (engineers and managers), 60 percent technicians and craftsmen and 25 percent unskilled labourers.

Ms Ssebikari therefore advised the youth to position themselves to tap into these opportunities, by acquiring relevant skills.

However, Ms Jennipher Baitwamasa from Navigators of Development Association (NAVODA) a local organisation that works with communities to resolve conflicts by the use of alternative dispute resolutions in Hoima, said that the youth are not aware of the existing training opportunities as information about them is limited. She further pointed out that the few youths who have already attained some skills, have hardly accessed any work opportunities in the sector.

She demanded that besides providing skills relevant to the oil sector, government should also consider providing specialised training for young people in crucial areas such as financial literacy and record keeping. These skills, she said, will enable those who may not access direct jobs in the oil sector, to initiate and run successful enterprises connected to the oil industry.

In his remarks while officiating at the opening of the summit, Mr Wim Stoffers, the Head of Facility at the DGF called for the inclusion of the youth in oil and mineral governance since they constitute a big percentage of the populace. “Today presents a valuable opportunity for sector actors to show unwavering support and renewed commitment towards youth participation and engagement in the sector. It is pertinent that we recognize this as a unique opportunity in the new year and new decade to better engage with and include youth in decision making processes and development of the extractives sector,’ Mr Stoffers said.

The DGF supports TIU to implement a project titled: “Strengthening Citizen Engagement in Government Accountability and Natural Resources Governance” which seeks to empower citizens to make their leaders accountable in effective management of public and natural resources in order to ensure improved service delivery and natural resources governance.