THE commissioning of the Facility Simulator (FacTor) that will be used to train Guyanese to work in the oil and gas industry on Friday, February 9 in Port Mourant, Berbice stands as a highly significant moment, surpassing the usual fanfare of a mere ribbon-cutting ceremony. Beyond the symbolic ceremony lies an institution that not only meets a vital need but serves as a beacon for the evolving landscape of technical skills in Guyana, responding to the growing demands spurred by the vast opportunities within the oil and gas sector.
As Guyana unearthed the potential of its oil reserves in 2015 and commenced production in 2019, concerns emerged about the deficit of a local workforce with the skills to support the industry.
This concern found its roots in the dual challenges of the novelty of the oil and gas industry and the absence of local training facilities.
The establishment of FacTor is the first phase of the Guyana Technical Training College Incorporated (GTTCI). This development signifies a concrete commitment from the Government of Guyana to ensure that Guyanese fully participate in and benefit from the lucrative opportunities presented by this evolving sector. It is also telling of the level of commitment from Stabroek Block co-venturers—ExxonMobil Guyana Limited, Hess Guyana Exploration Limited and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited—to the building of local capacity, since the training college is being established through their support, with the FacTor being designed and constructed by SBM Offshore Guyana.
This facility operates as a simulator, offering students a dynamic and realistic experience of the challenges and operations that define life aboard the colossal oil and gas vessels. Under the guidance of seasoned industry professionals, students undergo hands-on training across various technical domains, eliminating the financial burden of seeking education overseas or the need to forfeit their dreams due to lack of accessible training. FacTor, now accessible at no cost, symbolises a reciprocal commitment from oil and gas companies that derive immense benefits from Guyana’s vast resources.
During the commissioning ceremony, President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali emphasised the importance of collaboration and highlighted the continuing role of oil and gas companies in shaping the trajectory of the nation’s burgeoning petroleum industry.
“We have carefully calculated what we want to achieve to ensure that quality infrastructure, quality human resource trainers, quality development partners, a quality government, a quality company. It is bringing quality together to give us the output that we are celebrating today,” the President stated.
Located in Port Mourant, Region Six, the facility strategically aligns with key industrial areas, including the robust sectors of rice and sugar production. Beyond this, its proximity to indigenous communities ensures that individuals from regions like Orealla/Siparuta in Region Six and Moraikobai in Region Five have seamless access to training, thereby addressing and bridging existing educational disparities.
As we look into the future, it becomes evident that Guyana’s trajectory is imbued with promise, a testament to the concerted efforts ensuring that its people are well-prepared to steward the vast resources of the country. GTTCI serves as a prologue to a cascade of transformative developments. The University of Guyana already offers a spectrum of oil and gas courses, complemented by scholarships granted by various oil and gas companies operating in Guyana. With the Facility Simulator now fully operational, Guyana’s human resource capacity is poised for unprecedented heights, aligning harmoniously with the nation’s aspirations for sustained growth and prosperity.