Ugandans late for top oil jobs, say researchers


KAMPALA. Ugandans will have to wait longer to reap from the various lucrative jobs created by the nascent oil sector, research by a youth organisation indicates.
Research findings by the African Youth Development Link (AYDL) research titled, Youth Opportunities in the Oil and Gas Sector in Uganda, say citizens are late, especially for the core jobs in the sector.

“The gaps identified are as a result of many factors including; the quality of country’s education system, which is not adequate to generate local supply of workers with the necessary knowledge and skill; the pace of exploration which may be too fast to permit the development of local skill,” the December 2017 research paper reads in part.

While releasing the findings last week, the researchers cited specialised professionals such as engineers and technicians who are required to have experience of between five to 15 years before they are employed in the industry.

Mr Jeff Wadhulo, the lead researcher, said the country lacks enough professional skilled local work force whose qualifications meet the internationally recognised standards. Government passed upstream and mid-stream oil laws in 2013 specifying the obligations of the oil companies to have plans for employment of Ugandans in the sector.

However, Mr Ahmed Hadji, the founder of AYDL, said government should instead concentrate on investing in training, especially of the youth in areas where they have comparative advantage.
“Government must strengthen private public partnership so that the banks feel more confident to give loans to the prospectus youths,” Mr Hadji said.

The research, which was conducted through desk review method, also recommends among others, that it is the government’s responsibility to ensure the youth get the required skills and expertise while the latter be aggressive.

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