Skills shortages and recruitment problems are holding back growth in the oil and gas sector, according to an industry survey.
A record 98% of contractors in the oil and gas sector are looking to recruit over the next year and confidence in the industry is high for 2014, according to the 19th Oil and Gas Survey but the findings reveal that the industry’s growth is being constrained by skills shortages in key areas.
The survey, carried out through sponsorship from law firm Bond Dickinson, was conducted by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce.
The positive trend looks set to continue with three in four contractors – 73% – and half of operators anticipating an increase in their total number of employees next year, with a particularly strong demand for permanent staff. However, most companies report recruitment and retention difficulties, with contractors facing their most significant difficulties since 2007.
Three quarters of operators and 68% of contractors said they are suffering from recruitment difficulties.
The Journal is making every effort to boost the proportion of businesses in the region giving opportunities to young people through quality apprenticeship schemes. Through our Proud to Back Apprentices campaign, supported by a host of major players in the North East business world, our aim is to narrow the skills gap
Kenny Paton, oil and gas partner at Bond Dickinson said: “Clearly the oil and gas sector is buoyant and bucking national economic trends. However despite such a positive picture in terms of activity, the recruitment issues are worsening, leading to oil and gas companies offering above average pay increases and benefits and turning to other sectors to find staff. In addition, more and more of our oil and gas clients are raising questions about the implications of the result of the Scottish referendum.’’
The upcoming independence referendum also features in the survey.
Robert Collier, AGCC chief executive, said: “Of course the good news is that the sector and the north-east continue to see record levels of activity. This time we are reporting our highest-ever reported level of companies recruiting in the contracting sector.
“This brings challenges around how vacancies will be filled but we fully expect the sector to meet these challenges and continue to deliver for the north-east, Scottish and UK economies.”