The Stena Carron drillship, owned and operated by the British, has arrived and is in the process of hiring employees to begin its operations locally; but is currently faced with the challenge of having its workers certified by the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).This is according to the Rig Manager, Callum Balflour.MCA is the organisation responsible for maritime safety in the UK.Balflour made the disclosure at the launch of Strategic Recruitment Solutions Inc (SRS) on Friday evening at the Marriott Hotel.Stena Carron Rig Manager, Callum BalflourAccording to him, Guyanese do not possess the certification which is required by the MCA, and this is something he plans to address with the agency.“As a British vessel, we have some additional challenges for certification requirements for crew with the MCA, minimum safe manning and certificates that are acceptable and not acceptable; and that’s one of the challenges we face here,” he said.The rig manager added, “There are a lot of seamen here in Guyana, but the certificates wouldn’t match what the MCA asks for, and that’s a challenge that we as company need to take up with the MCA”.Balflour said that for him a seaman is a seaman, they do the same job and pass through the same training. As such, the name on a certificate should have no say in whether or not that person is qualified or eligible for a specific post.Back in 2016, when the Stena had first arrived in Guyana to begin its hunt for oil and gas, it was recognised that Guyanese did not possess any expertise in this area. Due to this, the rig manager said, the British drilling agency took it upon itself to train recruits in various areas for employment.In this regard he noted, several persons have already been trained and hired. Doors for promotion, Balflour said, are always open to locals, as long as they demonstrate the talents required for the specific posts.To qualify for a certificate from the MCA, applicants must be at least 17 years of age and have completed at least six months approved sea service in the deck department or engineer room of a vessel, or possess two months sea service if the applicant has completed an MCA-approved special college-based training programme and has completed the basic safety training, among other things.On February 6, 2019, United States oil giant ExxonMobil announced its 12th and 13th discoveries in Guyana.The discoveries, which were made at the Tilapia-1 and Haimara-1 wells in the southwest section of the Stabroek Block, were announced by Director of Energy Dr. Mark Bynoe in a statement. These new discoveries, he said, reinforce the country’s potential to be able to produce more than 750,000 barrels of oil daily by 2025, with at least five floating, production storage and offloading vessels (FPSO) on the Stabroek Block.The news of the discoveries and their potential for the country has created in the minds of Guyanese hope for not only a better future, but for employment opportunities in the emerging sector. However, even as oil production is slated for a mere few months from now, the Government is yet to implement the Local Content Policy which would assure Guyanese of employment opportunities.The Government’s Energy Department has attempted to comfort locals by assuring that that document would be ready long before first oil, due in 2020.This commitment was given more than three years after oil was first discovered off Guyana’s coast by United State oil giant ExxonMobil.The Local Content Policy would guide the State in guarding against local companies being bypassed for contracts and services in favour of foreign companies and workers.