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Guyana’s Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, says due to the high-investment-high-risk environment of the international petroleum sector, business models maximize efficiency while preserving safety, and as such, efforts must be made to incorporate this culture in skills training initiatives.

Speaking at a recently held symposium organized by the University of Guyana, Mr. Trotman said, “…we must not focus solely on attaining a skill, but we must also seek to embrace this culture, ensuring that, through partnerships with institutions, industry-based capacity-building efforts include a thorough appreciation of the culture of efficiency and safety the industry requires.”

This, he said, will serve to ensure Guyanese professionals and businesses elevate the level at which they operate to that of “world class standards” allowing them to become internationally competitive in the process.

Turning his attention to the nature and types of skills that can be offered, Mr. Trotman reminded that the industry does not employ large numbers of people directly; therefore skills offered and acquired should be of the type that can be used across sectors.

“Therefore as you shift, think also of enhancing skills that are transferrable to other sectors,” he told the gathering of university professionals.

“I also encourage you to make the most of experienced members of the diaspora, visiting professionals and resident operating and service companies to provide input in curriculum development. Partner with professional associations such as the AAPG and the Society of Petroleum Engineers to benefit from guest lectures since many of these associations have regional offices,” he told the gathering.

The one-day symposium focusing on identifying and meeting demands for engineering and operations management skills in the oil and gas industry was held at the Guyana Marriott Hotel on November 24. This stakeholder engagement comes on the heels of a recent $100 million grant from the Ministry of Natural Resources to help the University build capacities in oil and gas.

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