KPHL signs MoU with TotalEnergies to Launch National Career Database

By: Paul Oeka May 10, 2023

Photo from left to right: Luke Liria (KPHL), Richard Kassman (TotalEnergies), Wapu Sonk (KPHL), Jean Marc Noiray (TotalEnergies), Marie-Alix Dognin (Total Energies), Evan Shellshear (UBIDY). Credit: Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited

To increase job opportunities for Papua New Guineans, the country's national petroleum frontrunner Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (KPHL) is aiming to reduce the breach for the recruitment of potential national candidates for major resource projects and industrial sectors within the country.

In a recent Memorandum of Understanding signing in Port Moresby with one of PNG's major LNG operators, KPHL welcomed the commitment of TotalEnergies to support the unique nation-building platform WAN PNG.

The MoU was signed on Tuesday the 5th of May by TotalEnergies with a sponsorship of K250,000, making PNGLNG a major sponsor for the launch of the WAN PNG recruitment platform developed by Ubidy, a global recruitment marketplace for employers, jointly with KPHL.

The platform is dedicated to expanding opportunities for local Papua New Guineans and increasing the development and employment of local PNG talent with the newfound opportunities in the country's booming resource and industrial sectors.

In his remarks during the signing, managing director for KPHL Wapu Sonk said they have previously learnt from past instances in the PNG LNG project that job participants within the sector faced significant difficulties when using different recruitment platforms.

This had influenced and prompted the state entity to establish WAN PNG, which is a national career database and career portal.

"What we did was to build from lessons learnt in the PNG LNG project where we have different people processing the different applicants. We wanted to invest in a platform that every Papua New Guinean will register their interest ahead of time for jobs," he said.

"KPHL has identified an opportunity to assist petroleum and other industries’ development and had established the WAN PNG portal. Similar to our support of Kumul Petroleum Academy, (and) plans for a fabrication facility and construction academy, we have a responsibility to play a much bigger role in the industry than just passively holding the State equity in petroleum developments," Mr Sonk said.

The platform is managed by KPHL to increase the sustainable employment of local talent. This commitment by TotalEnergies demonstrates their intention to maximise national content in this LNG project with respect to employment of qualified Papua New Guineans during construction and operation, he added.

"The platform will provide a clear pathway to employment no matter whether one is a student, school leaver, university graduate, employed or unemployed. It will provide access to training, life skills, career advice and employment opportunities," Mr Sonk said.

An official and representative of TotalEnergies expressed during the signing of the MoU that the firm is very glad to contribute to the platform, mostly to the rollout and the expansion of such an important tool for development.

"We understand that this is such an important aspect to bring out competency towards the development of the Papua LNG project," the official said.

KPHL's strategic vision for the future includes investment in initiatives that serve to diversify the economy beyond the extractive industry, in which the establishment of WAN PNG is part of the strategy to build a foundation for broadening employment opportunity across regions and industry sectors throughout the nation.

The development has shown that Kumul Petroleum and its partners recognize their responsibility as a National Oil Company to deliver greater prosperity to the people of Papua New Guinea.

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