Glasgow Caledonian University has signed a partnership agreement with the Petroleum Commission, Ghana, to design and deliver work-based education solutions for Ghana's growing oil and gas industry.
GCU's commercially insightful approach to multi-stakeholder partnerships and institutional capacity-building lies at the heart of this project.
Benefitting thousands of young people in Ghana, the partnership will ensure the provision of technical expertise and qualifications to progress careers within the industry. Increased oil production has assisted Ghana's achievement of an 8.3% economic growth for this year, making it one of the fastest growing economies in the world. However, currently, fewer than half the technical and management positions in the oil and gas sector are held by Ghanaian employees and local companies are struggling to compete effectively for contracts. The education and training provided by Glasgow Caledonian will help to change that.
Fiona Stewart-Knight, Director of GCU's School for Work Based Education said: "Our pioneering approach to work-based education, delivered from Scotland to Ghana, and our substantial industrial experience across Africa should ensure the Petroleum Commission's progress in meeting its objectives for upstream oil and gas."
Ghana is stated to have the 6th largest oil reserve in Africa, with the potential for up to 5 to 7 billion barrels of petroleum in reserves, placing the country as 25th in the world for proven oil reserves. Ghana also has up to 6 trillion cubic feet in natural gas reserves. Last year, petroleum production generated income of $515 million USD for the government in Ghana, with current production standing at some 160,000 barrels per day.
Under Ghana's Accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity Programme (AOGC), which the University partnership is part of, around 1000 Ghanaians will be trained each year in technical skills and support will be provided to 200 companies and 300 employees in public institutions.
The University and the Petroleum Commission Ghana will work together to identify where it can best provide knowledge, experience and solutions. The focus is on building capacity in four areas; Technical, Vocational, Apprenticeship Development and Utilisation; Small & Medium Enterprises; Educational and Institutional; and Public Institutions.
Professor Pamela Gillies CBE, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said: "Glasgow Caledonian is the University for the Common Good and we have a special ability to convene and lead stakeholders in the development of co-created solutions that otherwise may not have come to fruition.
"It is a tremendous honour to be working in partnership with the Government and Petroleum Commission of Ghana to grow the skills and knowledge required to move the local oil and gas sector forward".
The partnership was initiated following meetings at the Oil and Gas Council Africa's Assembly in Paris in June. Egbert Faibille Jnr, Chief Executive Officer of the Petroleum Commission Ghana, said "Our hope is that this collaboration with GCU will expedite the implantation of a work-based vocational and apprenticeship programme for a lot of Ghanaian youth.
"We expect many of our youth to sign up to the programme.
"Our Government wants as many of our young people as possible to train for roles in the upstream oil and gas sector and the AOGC is the pipeline to that destination."
Partners for the AOGC Programme include the Ministry of Energy, Aker Energy, Petroleum Commission, and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation. A number of other organisations are expected to come on board in due course.