The National, Thursday October 17th, 2013
I THANK ExxonMobil for selecting Papua New Guineans to undertake advanced skills training overseas in a bid to prepare them as permanent employees in the LNG project.
But I would like to express my deepest concern about the manner in which the students have been selected.
I am surprised by the revelation that no student from Hela was selected for this special training.
I am questioning the fairness of the selection procedures used by ExxonMobil.
The construction phase is winding down, and soon, Hela people will have fewer opportunities since they were employed as casuals and given temporary jobs.
The big talk about the huge employment prospects that PNG will experience as a result of the LNG project is of no significance to the Hela people as this does not seem to be benefitting them.
It only meant a great deal to those who have been selected for the training in Canada, Japan and Malaysia.
Having understood the fact that these specially trained people would be the permanent workforce in the LNG project, I call upon project developer ExxonMobil to explain to the people of Hela given that about 75% of the gas will come from our province.
We deserve to know the criteria used for selecting the students.
Was it because Hela students were seen to be incapable of completing such technical training or was it simply because the company could not identify a candidate from Hela?
This is a bad precedent set by ExxonMobil. I call on it to justify its trainee selection procedures.