Oil and gas employers forecast new North Sea jobs bonanza on back of record £13.5 billion offshore investment

Robert Collier, Chief Executive, Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce
Robert Collier, Chief Executive, Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce

The latest quarter Oil and Gas Survey – published by Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce – forecasts a jobs bonanza as 98% of North Sea oil and gas companies and contractors report that they are looking to recruit staff – now.

First set up 10 years, the quarterly survey examines responses from a wide range of North Sea oil and gas operators, contractors and service companies.

Robert Collier, Chief Executive of the Chamber, said today: “ Our latest survey – the 19th – continues to see rising confidence across the sector with companies working at or above optimum levels, helped in part, by rises in decommissioning activity.

 “This report sees a record number of contractors (98%) looking to recruit staff in the current period and in particular demand for permanent staff grows ever stronger.

“It is positive to see that recent attempts to encourage the sector to recruit more widely are starting to happen. The highest proportion of contractors since 2009 are hiring from other UK industries which included a significant amount from the armed forces.

“Despite this, recruitment difficulties are at the highest levels since 2007 so there is still more that can be done. Research that OPITO is currently conducting to identify exactly where skills shortages are most acute should help the industry and training providers alike identify where this work is required.”

The report – commissioned prior to publication of the Scottish Government’s White Paper on Independence – which pledges oil tax stability – commented; “With this in mind we introduced a new question asking respondents which policy areas they needed more information on to help them plan for the future. The most common responses were around issues of taxation and fiscal policies, a result similar to our earlier independence survey where business taxes were also the most important factor to industry in this debate.”

 The survey concludes: “This report provides hard evidence of the buoyancy and optimism of the oil and gas sector and confirms what is clear to see for those who live and work in the North-east  – the area is buzzing and bucking national economic trends.

“It is anticipated there will be a record £13.5 billion of investment in North Sea fields this year, virtually every contractor is looking to recruit staff and unemployment for skilled workers is negligible.”

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