Mr Felix Owusu-Adjapong, Minister of Energy, on Friday identified unskilled labour and the absence of a credible certification for assessing existing manpower as major challenges to Ghana's emerging petroleum industry.
He said it was therefore necessary to deliberate on the issue and the proposal for a specialised Petroleum Technology Institute, Ghana (PTIG) as a credible institution to address these challenges.
Mr Owusu-Adjapong was speaking at a forum in Accra to sensitize the public on the need for Ghana to own such a school.
The forum was under the theme: “Building the Knowledge Gap Between Education and the Petroleum Industry.”
The proposed school, expected to kick-off by 2010 in the Western Region, would be a centre of excellence in integrated oil and gas engineering, as well as sustainable energy studies and serve as a natural manpower and adaptive research and technology development resource centre in Ghana and West Africa.
He said government was committed to ensuring that the policy on local content development and utilization was duly pursued to ensure that Ghanaians were adequately trained to acquire relevant competencies.
Mr Owusu-Adjapong said the task of human capital development was a challenge for all stakeholders in the economy.
"I therefore urge you to adopt an integrated private-public partnership approach in training and development for the oil and gas industry,” he said.
The PTIG is a brainchild of a Nigerian business group, in consultation with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation and the Ministry of Energy.
When it becomes fully operational, the PTIG would offer postgraduate programmes in Petroleum and Well Engineering, Pipeline, Sub-sea and Riser Engineering, Renewable Energy, Information and Refinery Technology.
Osahene Katakyei Busumakura III, Takoradi Omanhene, said the region would support the project to make it a reality.