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Gov't Approves 80 Vocational Training Courses

The oil and gas courses, to be offered by the Uganda Petroleum Institute Kigumba-UPIK and Uganda Technical College Kichwamba-UTCK, are specialized for the development of the emerging petroleum industry, as part of the Skilling Uganda strategy for transforming skills development for employment enhanced productivity and economic growth.

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The Ministry of Education and Sports has approved 80 new internationally adapted courses to be offered by 18 training institution across the country. These include nine courses in the oil and gas field and more than 70 others in vocational training programmes. 

The oil and gas courses, to be offered by the Uganda Petroleum Institute Kigumba-UPIK and Uganda Technical College Kichwamba-UTCK, are specialized for the development of the emerging petroleum industry, as part of the Skilling Uganda strategy for transforming skills development for employment enhanced productivity and economic growth. 

UPIK will offer courses in petroleum operation, mechanical maintenance, electrical maintenance and instrumentation while UTCK is focusing on training artisan and craftsmen in oil and gas related fields including plumbing and pipe fitting, carpentry and joinery, welding and metal fabrication. 

Education Ministry Permanent Secretary Alex Kakooza says that the accomplishment re-affirms the move from issuing completion certificates to equipping learners with employable skills that guarantee their preparedness for the world of work. 

“Skills development is important for the growth of key sectors of the economy especially; oil and gas, construction, tourism, manufacturing and agro-processing. Investment in these sectors would enable the country to significantly graduate towards the middle income status,” his statement reads in part. 

Abdul Nsubuga, the Skills Development Projects coordinator says the new courses have been designed with expert guidance from recognized, international accredited Technical and Vocational Education and Training- TVET training institutions who provided professional advice and support during the market survey processes, development of competences and occupational standards as well as the circular.  

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The Vocational Training Courses will be offered at institutions that are being upgraded into Centres of Excellence including Bukalasa Agricultural College, Uganda Technical College, Lira, Uganda Technical College, Elgon and Uganda Technical College, Bushenyi. 

The courses include welding and metal fabrication, automated production and industrial maintenance, Agro-processing, livestock feed formulation, road construction and building construction focusing on bridge and culvert construction, topography and land surveying, roofing, material and soil testing among others.  

Although some of these courses are not entirely new, the Ministry has revised the model of learning to ensure that the trainees progress from basic knowledge and skills training to more advanced skills. The new courses largely attract shorter training periods from days, 2-3 months with the longest not exceeding 2-years.   

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education has also awarded bursaries to over 1,090 residents from the Albertine region for training in Oil and Gas related skills. This is intended to support the development phase of the petroleum industry under the Albertine Region Sustainable Development Project’s Bursary Scheme. 

According to Nsubuga, the selected beneficiaries had to have been residents in the at least one of the 15 Albertine districts with a minimum of an O’level certificate or craft-1 or 2 or Uganda vocational qualification frame level 1 or 2. 

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Nsubuga further notes that the trainees will be requested to prepare for training which will commence once the Ministry of Education and Sports allow educational institutions to resume operations.  He However notes even other individuals who would wish to train in the designed courses will be welcomed.    

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