Petrofund bridges skills gaps in Namibia’s oil and gas industry

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Petrofund Chief executive officer, Nillian Mulemi, said that Namibia has a very strong talent base that may be used as a bridge to more advanced training for the oil and gas industry.

Mulemi said during an information session at Parliament in the capital on Thursday that over 8,000 Namibians have prerequisite training and can be further trained to work in the oil and gas industry.

“We are happy to report that Namibia indeed has a very good base of skills we can use to transition to further training for the oil and gas industry,” she said.

With the oil discoveries offshore Namibia, the oil and gas sector is poised to become a lucrative business industry in Namibia, but there has been concern about the local capacity in terms of skills and training.

Mulemi noted that Petrofund had been developing the country’s skill base before the commercial oil discoveries.

The fund was established in 1993 in terms of Section 14 of the Exploration and Production Act to offer training in the fields of science and information technology through scholarships.

The fund has since trained 368 Namibians, who are now working in various sectors in the country.

“We are also pleased to report that we recognised that there will be a need for specialised skills for the oil and gas industry. We started about six years ago allowing our graduates to acquire specialised training for the oil and gas industry,” she said.

As a result, she said the fund has assisted 63 Namibians to acquire specialised training in the oil and gas sector.

Mulemi said the fund is planning to provide scholarships to about 70 students for further training and is in the process of launching a TVET oil and gas scholarship programme.

“I want to emphasise that the training of skills for the oil and gas industry requires that you appreciate where the stage of development is. We have predominantly been in the exploration stage.

“Therefore, the skills we were training were responding to the fact that we were exploring. As we move towards appraisal, field development and possibly production, we are now gearing the country to be ready for that phase of the industry,' she added.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency