The latest joint report from OilCareers.com, the international jobs board for the oil and gas industry, and partner Air Energi, a global provider of manpower solutions to the energy sector, reveals the drive towards extracting oil and gas reserves from unconventional sources such as shale, is putting more pressure on the global energy sector to hire experienced people with the right skills.
The Global Oil & Gas Workforce Survey: Expectations for hires and pay rates in the oil and gas industry (H2) 2013 – highlights that energy policy, particularly surrounding natural shale gas exploration, features high on the agenda for governments and an increased focus on the critical skills shortage, as investment increases around the world, will be paramount.
Estimates suggest that the UK alone will require in excess of 120,000 skilled personnel over the course of the next decade to fully realise the renewed investment in the North Sea and recent shale discoveries.
OilCareers.com managing director Mark Guest said: “As the focus of the energy industry turns to Aberdeen and Offshore Europe this week, it is clear that attracting today’s highly mobile workforce has never been more pertinent or more challenging given the intense global competition for talent.
Looking beyond unconventional plays, there has been a noticeable move by oil and gas majors into deeper waters to access reserves. Extraction is complex in high-pressure, high- temperature environments meaning innovative technology and the skilled workers needed to operate it are crucial.
Across Europe competition for talent remains fierce as Norway begins to offset declining North Sea production with complex exploration of the Arctic region. The large downstream market in the Netherlands and the European industry is healthy, however it is still faced with the challenge of trying to cope with a lack of skilled workers.
Mr Guest continued: “This competition for a technologically skilled and mobile workforce is expected to yield a rise in salaries with the survey results showing that more than 60% of all respondents expect levels of pay to increase globally.
“As in previous years, Europe remains a candidate-driven market with a lack of sufficient skills available across the region. In part, this is caused by the ageing population of the oil and gas workforce creating a widening gap in mid-level jobs, and the lure of expat salaries and lifestyles from international projects, particularly in Australia.”
While 23% of respondents identified the on-going skills shortage as the over-riding threat to the oil and gas industry, initiatives are evolving to bring new people into the sector. In May of this year, for example, the UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills announced a programme aimed at those leaving the military, in a bid to help the sector find an additional 15,000 people over the next five years.
There are also signs of encouragement with many organisations placing a greater emphasis on training and development, however many of the major producing regions still require an influx of foreign personnel with this reflected in a predicted rise in expected salaries.
“Training and development will play a major role in determining whether or not the industry can curb its skill shortage with the increased investment in this area over the first half of 2013 an encouraging start to what is a global challenge,” added Mr Guest.
The Global Oil & Gas Workforce Survey: Expectations for hires and pay rates in the oil and gas industry (H2) 2013 covers all seven major oil and gas producing regions – Europe, Middle East, the Former Soviet Union-Caspian (FSU), Africa, Asia-Pacific, Australasia and the Americas – highlighting both salary and hiring trends across the industry.