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Ghana’s Oil and Gas Industry – How a global skills shortage might hamper this unique opportunity

Ghana’s Oil and Gas Industry – How a global skills shortage might hamper this unique opportunity

Sometimes Ghana does things the hard way. Take last week’s penalty shoot-out victory over Nigeria after a goalless semi-final in the African Championship of Nations (CHAN). Not content with being a man short, the extra time penalty shoot-out that will take Ghana to the 2014 final was a complete nail-biter.

In the same vein, Tema Port’s feasibility study for a four-lane road to service the docks is long overdue. It’s an absolute necessity, given the volume of traffic using Ghana’s biggest port and the fact that 70% of national trade goes through Tema, plus around 50% of traffic to and from Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. Whether you marvel at the tenacity of a country that manages such an international hub on just two dual carriageways, or feel frustration at the fact that it’s still necessary to do so, Ghana is still finding ways to overcome obstacles – even ones (partially) of their own making.

Oil Recruitment in Ghana

Feisty determination and working against the odds are two factors affecting the talent market for the oil and gas sector at present. There’s a skills shortage, certainly, but it hasn’t stopped analysts labelling 2014 as a promising year. One reason for this is that recent research by DNV GL has suggested that oil and gas recruitment is suffering a global skills shortage. Another is the determination of Ghana, and the companies investing there, to make the most of the opportunity at hand, leading to fierce competition for skilled oil and gas workers both at home and abroad. Ollie Pearce, Business Development Manager for the Anglophone Africa Region at Global Career Company, notes that

“Nowhere is the ‘War for Talent’ fought harder than the oil and gas sector. With significant resources supporting their recruitment efforts, these firms are seeking to leverage every advantage they can find in the battle to bring the best candidates into their operations.”

So what does this mean for the oil and gas recruitment industry in Ghana? The general outlook is positive, with the population of Sekondi-Takoradi doubling as a

result of the oil boom, which has led to some welcome regional development that makes the twin cities even more attractive. Nevertheless, the substantial skills shortage, especially in project management, is a test of the region’s ability to support its growing energy industry and will decide if Ghana can make this ‘energy boom’ sustainable.

For oil and gas professionals, Ghana’s growth presents some tempting opportunities – salaries are competitive and the lifestyle in Ghana is often seen as an attractive one. In the short term, Ghana may then be one of the most attractive prospects for oil and gas personnel, especially those with project management or offshore skills. In the longer term, it will be vital to the sector’s success to find ways to support the growth in oil and gas recruitment in Ghana, with balanced local and international sourcing strategies paramount in this.