Oil and gas industry must collaborate to solve skills shortage

Mark Guest

OilCareers.com and Air Energi are calling for the oil and gas industry to collaborate more if it is to successfully tackle the skills shortage. This follows the publication of ‘The Global Oil & Gas Workforce Survey 2014’, a joint report on the people focussed issues facing the oil and gas industry.

According to the survey, which raises awareness of the people related risk in the industry and its impact on projects,engineers are the scarcest commodity with more than half of participants identifying it as the most in-demand role followed by project manager, drilling, contract administrator and geologist.

Air Energi’s chief executive, Duncan Gregson, said:

“The oil and gas industry is powered by a highly mobile and skilled workforce. Experienced professionals are extremely sought after, highly remunerated and are offered excellent benefits. The critical issue for the industry in 2014 will be retaining staff, which is one of the key drivers in budget-overspend and schedule delays. We must, as an industry, look to collaboration as a solution if we are to solve our on-going problems.”

Other key findings in the survey include 58% of respondents confirming they expect salaries to rise in 2014 and 50% predicting that hiring rates for both permanent and contract positions will also increase. 69% of those questioned believe that more must be done to promote the opportunities within the industry to younger generations.

OilCareers.com managing director, Mark Guest said: Furthermore, 2014 must be the year where the industry seriously looks at the investment it is making in securing the future workers for the industry. The millennial generation holds the key to the future success of the oil and gas industry – attracting and retaining them is essential.”

Three-quarters of the Global Oil & Gas Workforce Survey respondents confirmed that their organisation offered internal training, although 29% of these admitted that there was not a full selection of training available.

Guest added: “Companies don’t have a good track record of collaborating with each other when it comes to addressing the root cause of the skills shortage. If we are going to see a real and positive change in the skills gap the industry as a whole must work together on the development of education, training and local content initiatives.”

In Europe over half of survey respondents expect permanent hiring to increase. In particular those possessing experience in subsea and LNG are in high demand with 20% expecting pay in these disciplines to increase. In addition there is expected to be big demand for HSE and maintenance professionals as operational capability and extending the life of assets becomes a priority, particularly in the North Sea.

“Europe is a mature basin and unlike other regions, has seen relatively little activity in terms of major new projects. Nevertheless workforce requirements have grown consistently over the last 24 months, primarily due to an increase asset life extension work and a shift in focus to deeper water and subsea exploration. As a result much of Europe’s workforce requirement is being driven by activity in these sectors.”

Gregson added: “We are beginning to see projects being scrutinised for cost effectiveness and viability. At the moment we are operating in a healthy market, however the danger is always that a drop is just around the corner, which could be a major blow to industry training budgets which are, regrettably, often the first to be cut.”





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