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Petrofund trained nearly 400 experts for oil and gas

By: Selma Taapopi

The Petroleum Training and Education Fund (Petrofund) chief executive officer Nillian Mulemi stated that they have trained about 368 students and graduates in the field of petroleum exploration and production since their establishment 30 years ago.

Mulemi revealed this during a discussion on local content policy at an information session with the Ministry of Mines and Energy on Thursday.

Mulemi noted that as the country prepares to embark on major energy projects in gas and oil, Petrofund has been providing funding and training in the skills required to take up jobs in the sector.

Mulemi stated that out of the 368 Namibians who received training, 63 have acquired specialised skills in the oil and gas industry. According to Mulemi, Petrofund has received over N$200 million in contributions made by companies granted petroleum mining licences.

She explained that the board of trustees has an income management policy that requires all the contributions they have received to be invested. They use the interest earned on these investments to build the necessary capacity for the industry.

"We have since the establishment of the fund trained 368 Namibians, these are the ones that have completed their studies, and they are deployed in the country. We are pleased to report that we recognise that there will be a need for specialised skills in the oil and gas industry. We started about six years ago, allowing our graduates to acquire specialised training for the oil and gas industry. We have been doing this even before we have made commercial discoveries of oil. You can appreciate that in terms of the preparedness of us a country for the stage where the oil and gas industry is. We are fairly prepared in terms of the skills we have to deploy for the gas and oil industry.

Mulemi added that as a result of recent discoveries, Petrofund will introduce a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme, as well as an oil and gas scholarship programme. She further stated that the training of skills for the oil and gas industry should align with the industry's stage of development.

“I want to emphasise that the training of skills for the oil and gas industry requires that you appreciate where the stage of development is. We have predominantly been in the exploration stage, so the skills we were training were responding to the fact that we were exploring. As we move toward appraisal, field development, and possibly production, we are also ramping up the skills we are training so that we gear up for the country to be ready for that phase of the industry,” she stated. Mulemi added that they have also collaborated with companies in the sector to ensure that graduates are offered internship opportunities.

Petrofund was established in 1993 in terms of section 14 of the country’s production and exploration Act, with the aim of providing training to graduates in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields.



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