Arusha — The Hoima-Tanga oil pipeline project got a boost on Wednesday with the launching of a training programme for technicians expected to work on the multi-million dollar project.
The training would be undertaken at the Arusha Technical College (ATC) in collaboration with the Canadian-based Camosun College under a $13 million programme supported by Ottawa.
"There would also be opportunities for technology transfer and high-end human resources development through the operations of multinational companies", said the permanent secretary in the ministry of Education, Science and Technology Dr Leonard Akwilapo.
He said since the construction of the 1,445 kilometre long pipeline would create jobs for thousands of local people, tailor-maide training stints have been designed for the engineers technicians, artisans who will work on the oil industry and allied gas sector.
"Three categories of will be required for the development of oil and gas industry, mainly engineers, technicians and artisans, Experiences show that, out of these categories, technician cades is the most demanded", he said.
Dr Akwilapo stressed during the official launch of the programme that in order for Tanzania to gain from enormous benefits emanating from the development of the oil and gas sector, "we have to address challenges of skills shortages that are characteristic with the sector all over Africa".
Oil and gas, he added, will drive the country towards industrial economy and challenged technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions to look for strategic partnerships with reputable organizations abroad to assist them in the endeavour.
One of the partnerships has resulted in ATC in collaboration with the Camoson College to initiate a long course in piple works, oil an gas engineering technician level programme to train young Tanzanians who will work in the energy installations.
ATC Rector Dr Richard Masika said the demand for skilled pipe works technicians were not only in demand for the construction of Hoima-Tanga oil pipeline but also for the envisaged laying down of gas distribution systems in the cities.
The senior technical advisor for the programme dubbed Improving Skills Training for Employment Programme (ISTEP) Dr. Alan Copeland said the programme will run until 2019 during which about 1,200 youth will have graduated with the right skills in employment in the exctractive industries.
"In the end, Tanzania needs the right people with the right skills at the right time to meet the challenges of transforming into a middle income country by 2015", he said.