Skills development is a key national priority in South Africa and a significant portion of SAOGA's resource is put into skills development and training for the oil and gas industry through a Skills Programme Office that is generously supported by our funders. The current focus areas for the programme are:
- Artisan training. SAOGA works with companies and public training colleges to recruit and train welders, riggers, boilermakers, pipefitters and other high-demand trade skills. Aside from direct funding of training courses we also ensure that most of the students in training receive a stipend to provide for basic living costs during training. Our focus has increasingly shifted to working directly with employers and their training programmes because of the importance of workplace experience in developing the necessary capability. We also maintain a database of people who have been trained on our programmes which we can be queried to find appropriately trained people.
- Upskilling Training is intended to provide access to oil and gas specific training opportunities for those currently employed in the industry. Typically these will be short courses delivered by a variety of specialised training providers on topics of interest e.g. offshore survival training, introduction to the oil and industry, HSE topics etc. Therse courses are offered to preferentially to member companies on a subsidised basis and have proved to by highly popular with industry. We have also acquired a number of elearning licenses which we are currently introducing and piloting with industry - these allow us to access internationally accredited material that is not generally available locally.
- Adoption of Global Standards. A critical training issue for South African industry is the conflict between local qualification standards and the global training standards used by the oil and gas industry. The Skills Programme has an important role to play helping local companies understand the global industry qualification requirements and working with South African education institutions and qualification authorities to harmonize curricula.
- Development of a Training Cluster. We have identified South Africa, and Cape Town in particular, as a potentially attractive location for providing a variety of specialised training offerings for the regional oil and gas industry. Aside from the local training training capability and attractiveness of the country for foreign trainers, South Africa offers a strategic location near major air and sea crew change points for West Africa and a well-developed infrastructure for accommodating visitors. The Skills Programme is tasked with developing this theme and is currently looking at the feasibility of creating a regional centre of excellence for upstream training. Dubbed the "Oil & Gas Academy" the idea is to involve a range of public and private, international and local training providers in a cooperative venture to create a comprehensive package of training options for the regional industry. Potential synergies lie in creating a joint marketing platform and shared investments in training facilities. We are current looking for international and local training companies who would be involved in participating in this undertaking.
Future developments in the Skills Programme will focus on the development of higher-level specialised skills at the graduate and post-graduate level. To contact the Skills Office:
Telephone: +27 21 425 6944