Industry leaders must ensure the next generation of talent know the door is still open into the sector, according to one young professional.
Adam Zalewski, who is currently studying for a Masters degree in Petroleum Engineering at the University of Aberdeen, said high volumes of young people had been attracted by the industry following the “good years”.
However the 22-year-old – who is also president for the SPE student chapter at the University of Aberdeen – said it was now imperative companies took on the best talent.
Concern has been raised that the reduction in staff from across the industry could see young people turning away to other industries, leaving a skills gap when there is an upturn in the sector.
Zalewski said: “The good years behind us have attracted high volumes of young people into the industry, many of which are in the university pipeline. Personally, I believe that the volume of candidates does not equal talent.
“The message I would like to see out of the industry is that there’s still a place for young people. You may not be able take on board all the good candidates, but if you will not take on the best talent, you will lose them forever.
“Talent is a limited resource and can’t be compensated for by massive recruitment drives in years to come.
“We need to be told there is still a place for us – that the industry has not shut the door.”
The comments came as Energy Voice launched its Offshore Europe event and final tranche of research focused on the next generation and the future of the North Sea.
The event on September 2 is being held in partnership with RGU, Burness Paull, EY, Douglas Westwood, Fifth Ring and AVC media.
The panel includes industry leader Sir Ian Wood, Derek Leith office managing partnerat EY Aberdeen and the firm’s UK head of oil and gas taxation and Offshore Europe co-chairman Michael Engell-Jensen.
Register for the event here.
The student is currently completing an internship with an oil major in Aberdeen which he said had helped him to develop “massively”.
He said: “You have to have the stomach for both and enjoy the ride. I am personally glad that I had the opportunity to see the full cycle so early in my career.
“On the other hand, a career in petroleum industry means that I am given responsibility over projects with huge business impact early on.
“I am able to participate in technically complex endeavours of a massive scale. Finally, not a single day, project or a year will be the same.”
Zalewski said he was still determined to move into a role in the industry, despite the oil price collapse and a downturn in the jobs market as companies look to streamline costs.
The student said no other industry would be able to offer the same challenges of a “scope and complexity” which the sector does.
He added: “The combined effort of experts of all backgrounds has a global impact on politics, economy and everyone’s daily life. It is astonishing, to be a part of this struggle to fuel the global energy needs.”
The final tranche of Energy Voice’s research project will also be unveiled at the event on September 2 with the survey now live.
Participants will also have the chance to win a Breitling Superocean 42 courtesy of Finnies the Jewellers by taking part.
You can take the survey here.
Support has come from across the industry surrounding the event and the discussion over how to encourage the next generation.
Oil and Gas UK’s Deidre Michie said the sector still has “much to offer the next generation who will play a vital role in securing and supporting the sector’s long-term future.”