Ghana's youth have been advised to seek assistance from career experts before choosing careers while in school in order to avert disappointment.
Ishmael Edjekumhene, Director of Kumasi Institute for Technology, Energy and Environment (KITE), gave the advice at the launch of a career guidance book for people looking for employment in Ghana's burgeoning oil industry.
'The discovery of oil in Ghana has heightened the interest of the youth in the oil and gas industry to the extent that most students have been tempted to divert their courses as a result of the attraction of the nascent industry. More unemployed youth have also sought to be absorbed into the industry but with little success.'
According to Mr Edjekumhene, the high demand for job opportunities could be attributed to the widely-held perception that the oil and gas industry offers attractive salaries and compensation packages to its workforce.
The 54-page book, authored with support from Star Ghana, would assist job-seekers in planning and making career decisions since it gives an overview of the range of occupations within the industry, as well as requisite educational and training pathways.
Meanwhile, CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE has gathered that job opportunities in the industry would not be 'anywhere close to the levels expected by the public.'
Careers in the oil and gas industry have been grouped into four broad categories. These include the entry level labourers, technical professionals, geosciences professionals and logistics.
'Entry level jobs do not require much academic qualification and little or no previous work experience while the rest require formal education.
In addition to these broad categories of oil and gas careers are administrative and general managerial positions such as human resources management, accounting, legal and corporate communications roles that do not necessarily fit into any of the broad categories listed above.
The total number of individuals to be employed by the petroleum industry will be the summation of direct employment, indirect employment and induced employment.
Estimates from Tullow Oil indicate that total direct employment from the Jubilee Field oil project will be less than 800 over the entire life of the project.
However, not all the direct employment opportunities to be created will go to Ghanaians.
The participation of Ghanaians in the sector is projected to range between 44 per cent and 58 per cent.
Although indirect employment has not been quantified, it is also not expected to be very significant.
Overall, the total employment potential of the emerging petroleum industry is insignificant.
By Emelia Ennin Abbey