Former sugar workers among 120 to undergo Oil and Gas Training

─ 150 trained in last 12 months 

By Nikosi Bruce

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, June 6, 2019

Guyana Shore Base Inc. (GYSBI) and TOTALTEC Oilfield Services have partnered up to recruit and train over 120 Guyanese in basic safety and oilfield operations.

The announcement was officially made at a press conference held in the Apollo cabin in the TOTALTEC Academy Compound on Wednesday. In attendance was CEO of TOTALTEC, Lars Mangal, Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman and Marissa Foster, a representative from the Department of Energy.

News that the academy was aiming to train 120 persons in a mere four months caught the attention of the Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman.

“I follow the progress of the Department of Energy, and it is with a great sense of pride that I believe both the academy and the Department of Energy are growing in leaps and bounds… There was an expectation that with the click of a finger Guyana would be ready for Petroleum, but it takes time, it takes investment, it takes months, and perhaps years and even as the industry is about to appear before us it will still take years to get us fully in place.”

Over the past year, the academy has produced over 150 Guyanese Graduates through an intense and thorough training process. They are now looking to crank out 120 graduates in four months and have already started looking at ways to increase their capacity as CEO Lars Mangal explain.

“We are mobilising additional classroom space to this facility, and right next door, we are mobilizing additional equipment to be able to cope with the volume of training that we have to do – additional instructors and making sure that we are going to be able to meet the requirements of getting more and more young Guyanese into the industry as quickly as we can catalyse them into meaningful careers.”

Those successful graduates of the academy are usually quickly grabbed up by the various shore-based and offshore companies as is needed. TOTALTEC also employs a few of the graduates as well.

A representative for the Department of Energy, Marissa Foster announced that the department is continuing to work on finalising its local content policy. The department hopes that with its completion, it will give greater clarity and certainty as to what can be considered local content. Foster stressed on what the department views to be local content.

“We believe that local content is not just an empty concept with vague constructs but is a combination of hiring local skills and services, value retention and also for the transfer of knowledge and technology. So, it is through joint ventures like these, training programs and recruitment activities it is our vision that the Guyanese people will not only be trained to push buttons and turn knobs but they will also have an understanding about the procedures behind the work that they do.”

It is worth noting that the current batch of students is not only more diverse but also includes more women and several former GUYSUCO workers. Minister Trotman expressed his delight at learning that some of the new recruits at the academy were former sugar workers.

“The Wales Estate had recently been closed, and we were quite happy that a number of new recruits were former sugar workers or had worked at Wales and I was quite excited to see how they were responding with excitement themselves to this new opportunity.”

Minister Trotman was also excited to see that the academy had taken on more women as well.

“I gave a challenge to the academy to ensure that more women are trained and employed and I am happy to see and to hear and to learn that we now have quite a few women trained and working.”

All the students attending the academy are on full scholarships and are provided with a stipend. Students that will be selected to be one of the 120 candidates in this partnership training program will fill positions on the Shore Base located in Houston, Greater Georgetown.