Edinburgh College joins The Scottish Training for Energy Partnership (STEP) to support East Africa oil and gas industry



Edinburgh College has joined Dundee & Angus College and three of Scotland’s leading private training providers to enable people in East Africa’s growing oil and gas industry to gain essential skills.

The colleges and their partners – Synergie Training, Navitas Compliance Solutions and Sibbald Training – have formed the Scottish Training for Energy Partnership (STEP). STEP will deliver world-class technical, vocational and skills training to the emerging oil and gas market in East Africa.

As a founding partner and board member, Edinburgh College will bring expertise in oil and gas training, which will be used to help build capacity in technical and skills training in this field in East Africa.

Edinburgh College’s Assistant Principal for Income and Product Development, Mike Jeffrey, is a member of the STEP board.

He said: “We’re very pleased to be one of the founding partners of STEP. This is an extremely exciting opportunity for Edinburgh College to showcase the knowledge and talent we have in delivering skills based training to a high level. This will be vital in driving forward the success of STEP in East Africa and we look forward to working with the founding partners to deliver training.”

The formation of STEP followed the positive outcome of an in-depth feasibility study in East Africa in January 2017, supported by Scottish Development International. This looked at the potential benefits of entering the East African market in direct support of the Uganda-Tanzania Crude Oil Pipeline (UTCOP).

East Africa is set to be the net beneficiary of $50bn in development funding over a five-year period and STEP is looking to capitalise on this business opportunity by delivering oil and gas-related training. The training will be based on the technical experience and knowledge gained at the cutting edge of development in the North Sea and other recognised oil and gas regions across the globe.

With its comprehensive technical, vocational and skills training, STEP has the expertise and capacity to deliver East Africa’s training needs through a single entity.

Speaking from Tanzania, STEP CEO James Murphy said: “We hope today is a turning point in how technical, vocational and skills training is delivered in Africa. By providing access to training at all levels, using various formats including digital, we aim to bring massive economic benefit to the communities we are working in by delivering and leaving an important skills legacy.

“The skills that we are teaching will not only benefit the individual but also the wider socio-economic environment of East Africa by allowing internal growth and development to move at a faster pace.”

Ewen Cameron, Head of Trade and Investment, Energy at SDI, said: “We are delighted to have been able to support STEP in its ambition to bring Scottish oil and gas expertise to the emerging East African market.

“Scottish oil and gas training providers and supply chain with their North Sea pedigree have all the technical knowledge required to get this project off the ground. We look forward to continuing to work with the oil and gas industry in Scotland to capitalise on overseas opportunities and in October 2017 we will lead an O&G/training trade mission to Uganda and Tanzania to further enhance this drive.”

The STEP website is under construction and will be launched soon.