Twelve Guyanese will be boarding the drill ship Noble Bob Douglas next week for the ExxonMobil well sites after they completed training with the company and logistics company JSL International.
The batch, which includes 11 males and one female, and is part of a larger group of 36 Guyanese who were trained, gathered yesterday afternoon at the Institute of Private Enterprise Development (IPED).
The trainees from all parts of the country expressed their gratitude towards JSL and Noble for giving them the opportunity to be the first batch of Guyanese to play an active role in the oil and gas industry.
Renatha Khan, a representative from JSL International, explained that the 36 Guyanese will be filling the positions of a full catering crew while occupying four radio operators’ vacancies and eight roustabouts.
“Fourteen of the crew are in the New Orleans area currently traveling to board the Noble Bob Douglas which they will be traveling down from the US with,” Khan said.
She noted that the recruitment process has been “pretty robust” as they targeted not only the Georgetown area but other parts of the country. The company also sought help from other stakeholder groups that would’ve had ongoing programmes.
“We reached out to all the communities who we felt needed a chance at this opportunity as well because we all are Guyana as a whole,” she said.
Khan also added that the participants will continue to be trained to build their capacity and will be eligible for promotions, which will create a cycle where newer batches will have the opportunity to start at the entry level just as the first batch. The training that the participants receive is also up to international standards which they can use in any oil industry around the world, the company said.
“Our local office, our Guyanese entity was just recommended for ISO 9000 certification for the provision of manpower resources and catering. Everything we do is in accordance with the oil and gas section and we are 100% compliant,” she said.
In terms of the selection process, Khan noted that the company advertised for the various positions in the various media as well as sending out text blasts. She said that the response all around was tremendous, especially in Berbice where they received over 400 applications. This, she noted, shows that persons are hungry for jobs and to get involved in the oil and gas industry and while they are currently only able to send 36 Guyanese, they are working towards increasing the number.
Kimberly Brasington, Senior Director, ExxonMobil Guyana, also made brief remarks at the event. She said that the event is historic since it also marks the starting of development of the oil and gas industry.
“What’s real historical of the arrival of the Bob Douglas is that the ship signifies the development phase of the oil and gas industry. Up until this point we have been busy exploring for oil and gas and we have been very successful of finding the oil and so now the Noble Bob Douglas signifies the start of development,” Brassington said, while pointing out that the number brings the total to 80 of Guyanese who will have the opportunity to support the new industry.
Kid James, one of the participants from the Rupununi, said he is extremely happy to be given the opportunity to be able to support the imminent oil and gas industry. He explained that he had learnt about the available vacancies from his friends and relatives and after searching the internet he was able to find information about the company and the opportunity through an advertisement in one of the local newspapers.
He said the training was “really intense” but since he used to do work in the mining industry prior to embarking on the new journey in the oil and gas industry, he was able to adapt quickly. As a result, he said, he is encouraging other persons from the interior regions who have played active roles in the mining industry to get involved in the oil and gas industry like he did.
Shelion Smith, the only female of the batch, also expressed her gratitude towards the company and said that she is also encouraging women to get involved.
“I was at one time saying they ain’t no female, only men. Between 10 and 12 men but I worked with men before. I just kept a positive thought and whatever they told me to do, I did my best and came through. I’m excited to see what it is about,” Smith said.
The woman who will be part of the catering crew explained that she has worked in restaurants and large kitchens before but have never worked on a ship, especially one involved in the oil industry.