Skills shortage main challenge for oil & gas employers in 2014

Source:Hays Oil & Gas

Skills shortages are the primary challenge facing two-thirds of UK employers in the oil and gas sector for 2014, revealed the Oil & Gas Global Salary Guide

Oil and gas industry employers in the UK are facing significant skills shortages according to the Oil & Gas Global Salary Guide, and over 65 percent (68.1%) of employers plan to increase headcount in 2014, exacerbating the already skill-short market, adding pressure to increase salaries to attract candidates, which is based on data from 24,000 respondents.

83 percent of employers predict an upturn in salaries in the coming year as hiring managers vie for top talent, at the same time as further emphasis is put on benefits. The number of employees receiving benefits grew by over seven percent over the last 12 months as employers look to bolster compensation packages with incentivized bonuses or attractive pension plans. UK respondents indicated, 27 percent of employees are offered bonuses, 25 percent pension plans and 19 percent have private health plans as part of their remuneration package.

Although in 2013 salaries flattened for the first time in three years employers’ confidence in the market is high as 72 percentof hiring managers have a positive or very positive outlook on the oil and gas industry.

Ed Allnutt, Director of Hays Oil & Gas, comments: “Salaries in the UK have held up well in a tough climate but with such an improvement in employers’ outlook and more positive sentiment, we are expecting 2014 to provide plenty of opportunities for professionals. Professionals with very niche skills and experience can command high salaries and are highly sought after and this will become more widespread over the coming months.”

Allnutt continues: “Skills shortages are continuing to plague the industry and are clearly a concern for employers. Although there are measures underway to tackle this it should remain a key focus. Developing graduates in STEM subjects and ensuring talented professionals have access to work in the UK are both critical. Government, business and education need to work together to make inroads that will benefit the industry and everybody working within it.”

The Guide shows UK local average salaries to have gone up by 0.85 percent, whereas salaries for imported talent declined by 1.4 percent compared to the previous year.

For comparison, the industry globally has seen a decline of 1 percent in salary levels from 2013. The slight reduction in growth of salaries can also be attributed to a market correction after a particularly buoyant two year period of increases within the industry. This is probably a necessary correction after two consecutive years of growth in salaries that have started to threaten the financial performance of some companies and assets including the UK’s ageing North Sea Oil fields. 

Duncan Freer, Managing Director of Oil and Gas Job Search adds: “Despite the concerns over a sluggish economic recovery, the feeling in the industry remains positive. Employees and new entrants to the industry can look forward to working dynamic and rewarding global sector.”

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