Collaboration needed to address skills shortage

Oil rig platform26 March 2014, News Wires – The oil and gas industry needs to collaborate if it wants to tackle the skills shortage, according to a new report released by OilCareers and Air Energi.

The Global Oil & Gas Workforce Survey 2014 said engineers are the “scarcest commodity” in the industry.

More than half of the participants in the survey identified engineers as the most in-demand role followed by project manager, drilling, contract administrator and geologist.

Oil and gas support company Air Energi said retaining staff would be one of the key issues for the industry in 2014.

“We must, as an industry, look to collaboration as a solution if we are to solve our on-going problems,” chief executive Duncan Gregson said.

OilCareers managing director Mark Guest said industry must look at making a serious investment in the workforce in 2014.

“The millennial generation holds the key to the future success of the oil and gas industry – attracting and retaining them is essential,” he said.

The report shows 69% of those surveyed believed that more should be done to promote opportunities to younger generations.

About 58% of respondents said they were expecting salaries to rise in 2014, while 50% predicted hiring rates would increase.

Three-quarters of respondents confirmed the organisation offered internal training, while 29% admitted there was not a full selection of training.

Guest added companies did not have a good track record of collaborating with each other.

“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 Asia-Pacific, 63% of respondents expected salaries to rise thanks to short-term project activity in the region’s subsea and liquefied natural gas market.

Expected growth in Sumatra, East Java and Malaysia are expected to contribute to an increase in demand for skilled workers across the region.

“APAC is experiencing similar problems to other regions with increased activity placing further strain on workforce retention,” Guest said.

“This is resulting in companies, in order to maintain headcount, offering higher salaries and rates to attract new talent to the region.”

Staff retention is tipped to be a problem for the Middle East, North America, East Africa and Australia.

“We are beginning to see projects being scrutinised for cost effectiveness and viability,” Gregson said.

“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.”

This is the first of two surveys to be released in 2014, which saw the two organisations collaborate to document views of more than 500 professionals from across the supply chain.


– Upstream

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