Anyone interested in a job in Uganda’s oil sector will have to first list on the National Talent Register, launched on Friday by the sector regulator, the Petroleum Authority of Uganda.
The authority said the online platform is aimed at increasing the participation of Ugandans in the sector and closing the gaps between employers and jobseekers.
Registering on the portal opened on Friday and will run throughout the year. In addition to jobseekers, companies in the oil sector—both exploration companies and service providers currently listed on the National Suppliers Database—will also be able to post job offers.
To register, jobseekers will have to first create accounts and then add their biographical data, curriculum vitae, and academic documents verified by the issuing authority. Ugandan applicants will also have to add a national identification number, ruling out those without a national ID.
Ernest Rubondo, the petroleum authority executive director, said the platform will enable demand side users—private companies and government agencies—to recruit new employees or redeploy those already in their ranks.
Registering on the portal is free, Mr Rubondo said, but “does not waive the requirements for competing for the jobs.” He added that submitting a profile is not a guarantee that a jobseeker shall be offered a job.
Mr Rubondo said the portal was benchmarked on a similar portal used in Canada because it is the only other oil-producing country that has implemented such a system.
While responding to a question raised about the possibility of the platform being used to discriminate against religion and tribal affiliation—yes, it asks for those details too—Mr Rubondo said that should not be a concern because the authority has proven, including in parliamentary hearings, that such discrimination does not exist in the sector.
The authority’s director of technical support services, Peninah Aheebwa, said it can only promote the availability of Ugandans qualified to work in the sector if they register on the platform.
Officials said the talent register is timely because Uganda is preparing for investment to the tune of $20bn in upstream (development of oil fields) and midstream (crude oil export pipeline and refinery) projects; activity in the sector is expected to increase after oil firms undertake final investment decisions on upstream projects, which is expected in the next few months.
An industrial baseline survey from 2014 said that the oil sector will create between 100,000 and 150,000 jobs over the coming years as the country moves into the development and oil production phases.
The report shows demand for direct jobs in the petroleum sector increasing towards the second year of development and peaking at 13,000 direct jobs in the third year, before gradually falling to 3,000 jobs in the fifth year.