Offshore oil and gas jobs rise 8.6% – but productivity falls by 8%


Dr Alix Thom, Employment and Skills Issues Manager, Oil & Gas UK
Dr Alix Thom, Employment and Skills Issues Manager, Oil & Gas UK

The UK Continental Shelf Offshore Workforce Demographics Report 2014 – published yesterday by Oil & Gas UK – show that the total number of people travelling offshore has increased by 8.6% compared to 2012.

However, coupled with an 8% drop in production in 2013, this also suggests that overall productivity is declining. Other key findings include:

  • The average age of those travelling offshore is 40.8 years. This is down from 41.1 years in 2012
  • The female workforce constitutes 3.6 per cent (2,237) of the total offshore population which represents a decrease of almost 0.2% from 2012
  • There has been a 14.7% increase in the number of under 30s travelling offshore in 2013 and a 9% increase in people aged 60- 65
  • A total of 61,892 people travelled offshore last year, which represents an 8.6% increase on 2012.

Dr. Alix Thom, Employment and Skills Issues Manager, Oil & Gas UK, said: “The data in this year’s report confirms that in 2006-2013 the largest increase in the offshore population was in the 18-29 age group.  

Their presence, and the fact that the average age of the total offshore workforce has dropped from 41.1 years in 2012 to 40.8 years in 2013, is helping to dispel the common misconception that the offshore population is ageing.    “However, this good news must be considered against the 8% fall in production in 2013 and the fact that there has been a slight drop in the proportion of female employees relative to the total offshore population.

Women now comprise 3.6% of the total offshore population – a fall of almost 0.2% since 2012. Given the current level of demand for skilled employees, and the high level of activity on the UK Continental Shelf, it is in the industry’s interest to increase its focus on tackling this lack of gender diversity as it represents a significant, but not fully utilised, pool of talent.”

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