A new survey highlighting the increasing skills crisis looming in our North East chemical and oil & gas sectors has been revealed.
North East-based First Class Technical Recruitment carried out a survey of 3,000 workers across the North East chemical and oil & gas sectors, which between them, employ more than 50,000 people.
The study highlights the increasing challenge facing the North East to maintain its globally-respected skills base.
The findings reveal more than half (62.2%) of workers in these sectors are over 50. While 54% could retire at 61 within seven years.
The biggest percentage of workers, 47.6%, fall in the 50 to 59 age group, which is more than the 20-29, 30-39 and 40-49 age groups combined, which between them, makes up 40 % of the workforce.
Jeff Neasham, senior lecturer within the School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering at Newcastle University, said: “This worrying skills shortage, and age profile is certainly not unique to these sectors and reflects decades of failure to promote engineering and technical careers in our schools.
“There are a wealth of opportunities for exciting and rewarding careers in these sectors but we are simply not getting this message through to enough young
“Our competitors around the world are not making this mistake and schools, higher education and industry need to work together to address this.”