The UK’s offshore oil and gas sector must build upon efforts to recruit and retain a diverse range of new talent into the industry if it is to realise its ambition for the future, Vision 2035, a report by leading industry representative body Oil & Gas UK has found.
Insights from its latest study into the sector’s workforce have today (Thursday 23 August) shown that total employment is expected to stabilise and increase slightly this year. Oil & Gas UK’s 2018 Workforce Report forecasts an increase across direct, indirect and induced employment to 282,700, from 280,000, in 2017.
This comes after total employment supported by industry fell by 14 percent in 2017 – below previous estimates of 302,000 as the downturn continued to be felt by the supply chain. Increased levels of investment were seen in the sector but were slow to filter through.
The industry body today said that the wider workforce trends are indicating an industry working to deliver Vision 2035, with efficiency improvements and technological transformation being introduced, suggesting new ways of working for the UK’s oil and gas sector. It comes as the report shows the average offshore age of the workforce fell last year, with a 20 percent increase in offshore workers under the age of 30.
However, Oil & Gas UK today warned investment continues to be needed to stimulate activity and generate sustainable growth.
The report shows:
Commenting, report author and Oil & Gas UK Workforce Engagement and Skills Manager Dr Alix Thom said:
“Our report shows a stabilisation in the total employment supported by industry, returning to levels in line with the long-term trend before the peak in activity in 2014.
“This has not been without a personal cost to many, and the revised figures for 2017 show the scale of the downturn is even more severe than previously understood.
“The slight upturn forecast for 2018 suggests that the greatest period of rationalization is behind us. Industry must maintain its focus on efficiency whilst securing badly needed investment in the basin to stimulate fresh activity. This sustainable approach is key to maintaining the workforce profile needed to deliver our long ambitions for the basin.
“It is encouraging that the number of offshore workers under the age of 30 continues to grow. However, with women representing 23 percent of the total workforce and three percent of those travelling offshore, industry must retain its focus on improving diversity and inclusion across the sector.
“As our report notes, advancements in technology will inevitably spell new ways of working, for example increased digitalisation could see a rise in offshore work being done remotely. It will be vital for the industry to understand the existing and future skill profiles in the workforce and proactively develop the talent required.
“It sets the platform for recruiting and retaining the people needed to deliver Vision 2035–a new intake of highly skilled, adaptable and creative talent, with the diversity needed to maximise economic recovery and identify supply chain opportunities at home and abroad.”
The 2018 Workforce report can be downloaded here: https://oilandgasuk.cld.bz/Workforce-Report-2018