Surge in oil and gas jobs forcing the industry to recruit from other industries

Paul Boughton
NES Global Talent, a specialist in the oil and gas recruitment sector, expects companies to take on extra staff in 2012 as new projects get sanctioned. It predicts that within three to six months, the increase in exploration and production activity and budget reviews will lead to an increase in demand for engineers – particularly subsea, design and process engineers.

“During the recession, lots of projects didn’t make it past the financial investment decision stage, but many were sanctioned in 2011 and as a result of this we can expect an increase in demand for construction and commissioning roles,” according to NES Global Talent managing director, Simon Coton.

However he added that the depletion of the UK and US skills base for jobs in a growing sector has been a worrying statistic in many reports over the last few years and one that need to be tackled.
The increase in talent demand resulting from so many projects getting the go-ahead has widened the talent gap even further than industry expectations. To bridge the critical skills gap, Simon suggests oil and gas companies will need to seriously consider retraining people from heavy industries.

“Structural engineers and electrical engineers from, say, the shipbuilding or infrastructure industries can be retrained to work in oil and gas because they use a lot of the same skills. This phenomenon is not unique to the UK; the US and Australia are also concerned about its oil and gas labour force given expansion within the industry and the retirement of skilled, experienced workers.

“As a truly global industry, it’s difficult to pinpoint hotspots – opportunities are worldwide and varied. I’m excited about Norway and Australia and am looking forward to seeing how local content plans are executed in countries such as Nigeria and, of course, Brazil.”
Particular skills in demand globally include deepwater subsea engineering in Brazil and West Africa and HSE in the Gulf of Mexico – and in fact, worldwide – as well as LNG (liquefied natural gas) specialists in Australasia.

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