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By Peter Abanabasazi

Up to 110 heavy truck drivers have qualified for a new round of training in employable skills needed in the oil sector. More than 700 drivers applied for the programme that was initiated by Chinese oil and gas company CNOOC Uganda Limited, three years ago.

The three-month-long programme that also licenses and certifies drivers to professionally drive Heavy Goods Trucks and Trailers also known as class CH License or rigid trucks (class CM license) in accordance with the East African community curriculum started in 2020 where they initially trained 70 drivers.

According to Mathew Kyaligonza, the National Content Manager at CNOOC, they sought applications from drivers across districts in the Albertine region, a process which was undertaken in partnership with the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom that supported the identification and selection of trainees.

Kyaligonza says the applicants included 15 women who have all been selected for the training. The applicants were drawn from the districts of Kikuube, Hoima, Masindi, Buliisa, Kiryandongo, Kakumiro, and Kibaale.

This year, the training will be executed by Uganda Driving Standards Agency (UDSA) where they will be skilled to meet international standards, a move that is also in fulfilment of part of the commitments in the Final Investment Decision (FID) announced early this year where transportation is also among the goods and services to be provided by Ugandan companies, Ugandan citizens and Registered entities as detailed in the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) (National Content) Regulations, 2016.

Aggrey Muhumuza, the National Content Officer at the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) said CNOOC already trained welders and over 100 have got their certificates and several other pieces of training are being planned for Ugandans to generate skills that will feed into the community content that they are developing.


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