The oil and gas sector could create up to 39,000 jobs in the UK over the next two years, according to new research released today from the Royal Bank of Scotland.
In recent years the sector has suffered from a severe skills shortage, with this resulting in wage increases hitting an all-time high in 2013 to attract qualified staff.
Dr Alix Thom, Oil & Gas UK’s employment and skills issues manager, says that despite the skills gap, the sector continues to attract a huge amount of investment, with last year alone seeing record levels of £14.4bn.
“Companies are very willing to invest in what is a very buoyant market, resulting in high levels of activity which, in turn, generates well rewarded employment opportunities,” he said.
“The industry is actively addressing the skills shortage in the short and long term in a number of ways. For example, the industry continues to be successful in attracting school leavers and graduates by engaging with young people to encourage the uptake of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects and stimulate interest in the sector.”
Dr Thom added he is also seeing a number of retirees returning to work in the sector in a number of flexible arrangements in order to share skills, experience and knowledge with younger colleagues.
“Other initiatives include helping to facilitate the transition of skilled people into the industry from other sectors, including the UK armed forces where skills such as engineering, logistics and project management are widely transferable to the oil and gas industry,” he said.
The job creation was under way this week, with GE Oil & Gas announcing it is to recruit 152 staff in a £15m investment in its Newcastle site, while German company Freudenberg has created 60 jobs in the Welsh town of Port Talbot.