Thirty five billion pounds tells a story in itself – but what does it mean for the Oil and Gas job market? Despite the ongoing debate about when oil and gas reserves will be entirely depleted, the industry itself is still booming, with the UK upstream oil and gas supply chain generating a turnover exceeding £35 billion in 2012. As highlighted by the Ernst and Young report, “The era of cheap, easy oil may be over, but the global demand for oil and gas remains high.”
The sector has reached a point where bringing in new minds with new ideas is more important than ever. UK firms increased their number of employees by 20,000 in the four years leading up to 2012, though they are now facing difficulties in recruiting experienced, skilled workers. Many of the larger oil and gas companies provide graduate training programs for those who leave university with top marks in an attempt to overcome this obstacle, though this is obviously not an option for a significant percentage of those hired due to the high costs of training.
As peak oil becomes an increasingly central focus across the industry, many companies are putting their efforts into exploring methods that can prolong the production stage of an oil field’s life cycle. Research and development departments across the industry are competing to hire those who have ideas not only on how to improve recovery rates, but also on how to reduce costs. Sustainability is also seen as having ever-growing importance, making it essential to attract new recruits with an understanding of both why it must be achieved and how to go about this.
Bringing in those who have relevant experience in other industries may require attention to induction that is unnecessary when recruiting those who have already worked in the given field, but it can also be the ideal way to gain fresh insight. Problem solving skills gained through employment in other areas can be effectively transferred, though overlaps obviously make this easier.
The value of the industry to the UK makes achieving sustainable staff levels as important as maintaining the costs of continuous oil production. Schemes to attract new talent, such as the aforementioned graduate training programs, are essential to both the growth of the industry and to commercial success for individual companies.