Technical, vocational skills crucial to get jobs in oil industry

first_imgNot only engineers, geologists needed– T&T’s energy expertThe oil-and-gas sector can develop high standard technical and vocational skills which can be transferred to other sectors, according to energy expert Anthony Paul, a Trinidad national who serves on Guyana’s Local Content Committee.According to a GINA report, Paul pointed out that there exists a myth over theAnthony Paul, T&T energy consultant at the Natural Resources Ministrytypes of jobs available in the oil-and-gas sector. While engineers and geologists are necessary skills in the industry, for Guyana, the job opportunities lie in technical and vocational skills.“You ask where the jobs are? Technical and vocational skills are very important,” Paul said.Guyana is preparing for oil production sometime in 2020, after significant oil find in 2015.Paul pointed out that Trinidad and Tobago “did well” at developing those skills with apprenticeship programmes in its oil-and-gas industry. “There are many more; as welders, fabricators, mechanics, people doing diesel machine… You have the kernel of that in the schools; they may be distressed at the moment, but do you rescue that culture and use it to build those areas?”He noted that this is a decision for the Government to make. More importantly, these skills are transferrable.In Trinidad’s case, Paul noted, the twin-island state’s oil-and-gas sector employStudents of GTI learning technical and vocational skillsonly about four percent of the workforce, but more than 20 per cent of T&T’s workforce is trained in some technical or vocational skill.“How do you think they got that skill? Because the oil industry needed the skills and invested in the schools. If you train 100 technicians and the industry hires 10, 90 are available for elsewhere,” Paul illustrated.Additionally, these skills, when transferred, can also raise the standards of the sectors in which they are used.Paul, however, cautioned that developing technical and vocational skills must not be done at the neglect of high-end skills. “The other high-end skills are of value too, and you want to focus on those as well; but we tend to focus on the operation (of) technical skills,” he said.“If we fail to develop the high-end skills, we end up using the same foreigners thatLearning welding at the Guyana Technical Institutewe had to bring into the country to do the job,” Paul explained.The Government has to be strategic in how it develops skills for the industry, Paul cautioned. Paul used Ghana as an example of how this did not work out. “A lot of families spend money on children doing studies (for which they cannot find employment) now.”Over the last two years, Paul worked as an advisor to the Ghanaian Government, developing and putting regulatory systems in place for that country’s Ministry of Petroleum.“Guyana has to be careful about what training you spend your money on,” he said. The Government is cognisant of this, and has been making provision for developing both technical and high-end skills.The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNRE), through the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), has committed to spending $100 million over the next three years to boost UG’s training capacity for the oil-and-gas industry. Additionally, the MNRE has with the Mexican Petroleum Institute a partnership arrangement that includes scholarships particularly in areas of technical and vocational skills.  There are also plans for a Petroleum Scientific Institute to be established locally by 2020.Anthony Paul is currently a consultant to the Ministry of Natural Resources on the development of a Local Content Policy for Guyana’s oil-and-gas sector.last_img read more

New program to reduce harmful stress effectively improves mood in cancer patients

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 20 2018This is a story about something rare in health psychology: a treatment that has gone from scientific discovery, through development and testing, to dissemination and successful implementation nationwide.In a new study, researchers found that a program designed at The Ohio State University to reduce harmful stress in cancer patients can be taught to therapists from around the country and implemented at their sites, and effectively improves mood in their patients.”It’s challenging to take a treatment and scale it up to where it will work with a diverse group of therapists and patients under a wide variety of circumstances,” said Barbara L. Andersen, lead author of the study and professor of psychology at Ohio State.”This study documents a remarkable success story.”The study appears online in the journal American Psychologist and will be published in a future print edition.The program, now called Cancer to Health, was developed by Andersen and colleagues in the early 2000s. It teaches patients how to think about stress, communicate with doctors and others about their treatment, seek social support, become physically active and take other actions to reduce their stress, improve their mood and enhance quality of life. It consists of 18 weekly sessions and eight monthly maintenance sessions, as well as homework assignments for patients.Dealing with stress is important because research by Andersen’s group and others has found that high levels of stress can lead to not just depression, lower quality of life and negative health behaviors, but also lower immunity and faster disease progression.”We need to help cancer patients deal with their stress, because it has effects on their physical as well as their mental health,” Andersen said.In several studies published between 2004 and 2010, Andersen and her colleagues tested the Cancer to Health program and found it effective with breast cancer patients at the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State. Results showed that patients who went through the program felt better and also had significantly improved immune responses and a lower risk of breast cancer recurrence.Related StoriesBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessaryThis new study aimed to see if some of the results could be duplicated around the country. It involved therapists who work with cancer patients at 15 sites, from California to Iowa to Maine. Most were associated with local hospitals or cancer support communities. All of the therapists came to Ohio State to learn how to implement the Cancer to Health program.They then took the program to their sites, where it was tested with 158 patients with a variety of different types of cancer.Participating therapists were allowed to modify the program for local needs and shorten it if necessary.Results showed that 60 to 70 percent of patients received the core components of the main program.Two-thirds of the sites offered some of the monthly maintenance sessions, but averaged only one-third of what was in the original program.Most importantly, Cancer to Health worked with patients. Results showed that patients showed significant improvement on a measure of mood after completing the program.In addition, patients became more physically active after Cancer to Health, with the average participant going from “moderately active” before the treatment to “active” afterward.”That’s significant because 71 percent of the patients were still receiving cancer treatment when they began our study, and maintaining, resuming or beginning physical activity during this period is difficult,” Andersen said.Moreover, most patients thought the program was helpful and reported that their therapists were very supportive. When asked to rate the program on a scale of 0 to 4, the average overall score was 3.48.Andersen said other research suggests there is a gap of about 20 years between development of a new health treatment and wider implementation in the medical community.”If we want to speed that up, we have to train providers. There have not been many studies like this one that involve actually training providers and then testing to see if they could not only implement what they had learned, but could also get their patients to improve,” she said.​ Source: read more