The oil and gas sector needs no educating on the severe lack of skilled engineers coming into the industry, especially at a time of major international growth and development for exploration and production (E&P) firms.
While many companies are now successfully hitting targets on graduate and trainee recruitment, a major challenge facing the industry is the recruitment of those with five years or more relevant experience – personnel able to ‘hit the ground running’ and drive forward major projects quickly and competently.
OPITO, the UK oil and gas industry’s training body, recently reported that 44% of companies are expecting significant growth this year – so where will the staff come from to fill these gaps in engineering expertise and management of project development and delivery?
Skills shortages were the biggest challenge to the sector’s growth, the report found, and with around 15,000 more jobs potentially being filled in the next five years, the demand for engineers with the necessary skillsets remains greater than ever. Without it, it is feared wage inflation could run out of control.
In a separate survey carried out by a team at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, 110 companies were asked about their growth prospects. Nine out of 10 anticipated a boost in their international activity, with 67% expecting significant growth as a result of decommissioning work from the North Sea, and a further 63% forecasted growth due to renewable energy contracts.
Last month Oil & Gas UK, the representative organisation for the offshore energy industry in the UK, highlighted similar concerns as it published the Business Confidence Index, covering the second quarter of this year. It showed a modest rise in confidence among operators, but indicated concerns from contractors over manpower.Credit: onrec.com