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Oil and gas industry addresses skills shortage in employment upturn

Published:  14 April, 2014

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 from the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Dr Alix Thom, Oil & Gas UK’s employment and skills issues manager, says that although the oil and gas industry continues to attract a huge amount of investment, with last year alone seeing record levels of £14.4 billion, there is an undeniable skills shortage within the industry.

He explained: “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. 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.

“We are also seeing a number of retirees returning to the oil and gas workforce in a number of flexible arrangements in order to share their skills, experience and knowledge with upcoming 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.”

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