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Is the Oil & Gas Industry Doing Enough to Attract and Retain Talent?

Posted on April 23, 2019

Anyone else have a feeling of Déjà vu?

As we come out of another downturn, inevitably, talk turns to the impending skill shortages in the oil & gas industry.

‘Oslo-based DNV GL surveyed 791 senior industry professionals from October to November last year.’

Almost half (48%) of those surveyed expect to grow their workforce in 2019, compared with just 10% four years ago.‘Skills shortages and an ageing workforce was the most cited barrier to this growth.’

While the issue may be familiar, it’s clearly different this time. Our industry has an image problem and needs to try harder to attract and retain the required skills it needs to prosper.

In the lower cost environment that we now operate, throwing money at the issue is no longer a realistic solution. If our industry is to attract and retain the bright new engineering talent it requires then we need to acknowledge the environmental concerns that we are coming face to face with.

Clarity occurred on my last business trip to Houston… Picking up my hire car at the airport I was amazed that it was electric. Houston, the home of the gas guzzler and centre of the oil and gas was the last place that would have been expected! Like it or not that was a glimpse into our future.

Large companies are starting to lead the way. Shell for example, committing to reducing their carbon footprint by 50%. A company who have historically portrayed themselves as the technical innovators of the Energy industry are now leading us to a new future.

Issues around the ageing workforce are well noted; with every downturn seeing vital knowledge depart the industry. To retain this knowledge, we need to look at offering more flexible (part time, ad-hoc, temporary) work patterns, encouraging the experts to stay and mentor the next generation.

Here at Carlton we operate a unique ‘Collaborative Recruitment Model’ and look to work closely in partnership with our clients. The opportunity to be part of discussions around retaining talent, retraining and diversification into other non-fossil fuel energy sources is always welcomed.

This is clearly a pivotal period for the energy industry and one that I’m personally and professionally excited to be a part of.

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