Residents and leaders in the oil-rich Buliisa district are demanding for the establishment of a Vocational Training Institute to enable them to acquire knowledge and skills to work in the oil and gas industry.
Both leaders and Locals in the district say that although the resource was discovered in the district, there is no effort being made by both the government and the oil companies to ensure that they acquire the essential skills to work in the sector. The locals accuse the government of deliberately locking them out of oil related jobs.
The jobs in the sector relate to tasks in exploring oil and gas fields, extracting natural resources, and refining to make them useable.
But Godwin Kamanyire, a resident of Butiaba landing site says most residents in the area do not have the required skills and experience to work in the oil and gas sector, but once a vocational institute is availed to them, it will be easier for some of them and their children to attain the necessary skills.
Justine Nyamaizi, another resident says that although many of them would want to acquire vocational training for the long list of jobs in the sector, they have no skilling centre and no effort is being made to ensure that they acquire the skills.
Norah Bigirwa Nyendwoha, the Buliisa district Woman Member of Parliament says the government should plan and train future workers particularly for jobs that are rapidly changing because of technological advancements in the oil and gas industry.
Simon Agaba Kinene, the Buliisa District Chairperson attributes the distress to high expectations that the residents had in the oil and gas sector. He challenges the government and oil companies to ensure that local people are trained and skilled.
Francis Elungat, the Coordinator Oil and Gas in the Energy Ministry says that currently it is difficult for the government to construct Vocational Training Institutes with Oil and Gas related courses in each district in the Albertine Graben but calls on the residents to get enrolled in the few available Institutes citing the Uganda Petroleum Institute Kigumba-UPIK so that they can attain the necessary skills to work in the sector.