Psychologists know that change creates stress. And the bigger the upheaval, the greater the fear, anxiety and doubt.
Leading figures from the North Sea’s oil and gas industry will take centre stage at the launch of a key industry report next month to discuss how changing skills requirements will impact on the industry over the next six years.
Recent press on a skills shortage for the oil and gas industry prompted me to share my views on graduate training and recruitment. It is focused on my own discipline Chemical (Process) Engineering, a key skill for the oil and gas industry.
Nearly half of oil and gas professionals are worried about an "impending talent emergency", a new employment trends poll shows.
New “T-Levels” are to be introduced as part of a fresh bid to give technical training equal standing to academic education, the Chancellor has confirmed.
Firms are facing an “unprecedented” shortage of skilled workers, with the threat that thousands of vacancies will be left unfilled, a new report has warned. The number of posts left unfilled has increased by 130% since 2011, according to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.
Oil and gas skills body Opito has agreed to work more closely with the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) to avoid duplication of effort. The two engineering skills bodies have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to deliver to their members a “common menu of skills solutions”, to collaborate on the collation of industry data around manpower trends and skills forecasting, as well as the creation of skills programmes that meet common industry needs. The collaboration will also build on work undertaken to date around the industry’s modern apprenticeship scheme.
The head of the Scottish Government’s Energy Jobs Taskforce has pledged to do “everything possible” to ensure skills are not lost in the current oil price crisis facing the North Sea oil and gas sector. Lena Wilson, who is chief executive of the economic development agency Scottish Enterprise as well as chairwoman of the taskforce, insisted the group is “not a committee or a talking shop” and plans will be backed by government funding when required. She said: “If we come up with any ideas that need funding, we will first of all look to the significant existing resources we have.
It is more critical than ever for North Sea oil and gas firms to keep skills at the top of their agenda, despite any layoffs caused by low crude prices, industry body Opito said. The skills, standards and workforce development organisation said there was still an over-riding need to turn potential talent into the offshore workers of tomorrow. Doing so will not just equip the industry with the people it requires when oil prices rise but also help to keep safety at the forefront of operations offshore, it added. Opito managing director John McDonald’s reminder of the importance of maintaining a competent and safe oil and gas workforce came as the Portlethen-based organisation set out its priorities for the year ahead.
The North Sea has been producing oil and gas for half century next year and the challenges the region faces are well documented. The ‘Fuelling the Next Generation’ report released this week showed the scale of the skills shortage is much less apparent than it was 12 to 18 months ago. This means that all the work the industry has been doing from grassroots level in schools right through to engaging with potential transitioners and the wider public is working. The study, commissioned by Oil & Gas UK, OPITO and the department for Business, Innovation and Skills, has delivered the truest reflection of how life is going to look for those of us in the sector over the next five years.
The oil and gas sector is vital to Scotland and it is important we have the skilled workforce required to strengthen our overall ambition as a major centre for energy activity. The oil and gas UK study highlights the need for the UK Government to continue to put in place measures to sustain long-term investment in the UKCS and for industry to work with our colleges and universities to ensure they are delivering the skilled workforce they need and deliver the best value out of the public investment that we provide for the training of the current and future workforce. But unfortunately the Autumn Statement last week failed to provide the oil and gas industry with the tax measures it both requires and deserves.
Oil giant Shell has invested £1million in a programme aimed at helping address the UK’s critical shortage of scientists and engineers. The Perkins Review of Engineering Skills, published last year, called for urgent action from employers to address this shortage. Shell’s three-year funding, which has been invested in the Tomorrow’s Engineer’s Programme, will enable the programme to expand into more than 500 new schools across the UK.
Closing the skills gap could be a major step forward in solving the challenges in deepwater developments, according to an industry analyst. Richard D’Souza from Granherne/KBR said collaboration is needed between the oil and gas industry, governments and educational institutions to hire the right staff.