Filling the void: Petronas-sponsored students after the graduation.
KOTA KINABALU: Employment of local technicians in the oil and gas industry is expected to improve with the graduation of the first batch of Petronas-sponsored
students trained for the sector here.
The 51 students underwent a six-month training at TAS Institute of Oil and Gas, Sabah, and graduated with a Business and Technician Education Council UK (BTEC) Intermediate Certificate in Engineering in Oil and Gas Operations.
Chairman of UMSLink-SilverKris Sdn Bhd, owner of the TAS Institute, Rizal Othman said during the graduation ceremony that oil giants and service providers in Malaysia, especially those operating in waters off Sabah were finding it difficult to employ suitable locals with the right kind of skills needed by the industry.
“In addition to major discoveries in deepwater fields off Sabah, coupled with an increase in downstream activities in the state, the need for skilled workers to operate oil and gas facilities had made the shortage more pressing than ever,” he said.
“We hope this situation would improve with the recent graduation of students for these fields, as well as future programmes planned for this purpose,” he said.
Rizal added that experts have estimated that 28,000 skilled personnel would be needed over the next decade to fully realise the planned surge of investment in the Sabah oil and gas industry.
The programme fully sponsored by the Exploration and Production Operations and Maintenance Services (EPOMS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd is part of EPOMS’ efforts to train and develop competent local technicians for the oil and gas industry, especially in the field of operations and maintenance.
Petronas has been actively involved in the development of skilled human capital in Sabah through a number of its community projects including the setting up of the Kimanis Petroleum Training Centre.
The national oil company also collaborates with five skills training institutions in the state aimed at equipping the local youths with the skills required by the industry.
The five institutions are Pusat GiatMARA Kimanis, Institut Latihan Perindustrian Kota Kinabalu, Kolej Yayasan Sabah, Institut Latihan Teknikal dan Perdagangan Papar and Institut Kemahiran Mara Kota Kinabalu.