The results of a recent Ernst & Young survey have revealed that the biggest concern currently facing Britain’s oil and gas industry is the recruitment and retention of talent. As with other UK industries, oil and gas companies are reporting particular shortages in the area of engineering. The problem is not that British candidates aren’t up to the job, but a convergence of several factors. Firstly, it takes time for new talent to come through and replace those who have left the profession after retirement. Britain’s oil and gas industry is also competing for talent with overseas industries who are often paying much larger salaries than those available in the UK.
Despite these potential problems, confidence in the industry appears to be very high and as such, companies are actively recruiting, but the question on everyone’s mind is how to improve recruitment and retention, with problems for operators more than doubling in this area over the past year. To help with this issue, the Scottish government has provided over £6m in funding to provide training facilities for the industry. North Sea based companies are also doing their part, with wages expected to rise steadily over the next few years to continue to attract the right talent. The average wage for this year will probably settle at around the £70,000 mark.
The bottleneck in bringing on board new talent and the lure of foreign pastures is sure to put more pressure on recruitment, but it is essential that these problems are overcome to ensure that such a vital part of the UK’s economy continues to grow and thrive.