Currently, there are less highly skilled engineers in the UK; meaning companies are finding it difficult to employ people without training them. An executive form BP has raised concerns that this could be a detriment to growth for the company’s work in the North Sea.
Last month, BP revealed that it would redevelop two oil fields in the North See, investing £3 billion and creating hundreds of new jobs. However, Trevor Garlick, head of the work in the North Sea, warned that a lack of trained workers could impede their work. “Getting hold of the right people is a real issue for us,” he said, adding, “We are hiring a lot of people, but we are also an exporter of a couple of hundred people to other regions. We are a centre for recruiting elsewhere.”
Moved to Other Locations
Mr. Garlick is concerned that the company uses the work in the North Sea to train employees for use abroad. He argued that the most successful employees in the North Sea were moved to other locations for the company.
Research from the group Opito, a workforce development company for the oil and gas industry, shows that 15,000 jobs are due to be created in the UK by the industry. This is due to take place over the next five years, amid rising industry costs. Oil and gas prices are currently falling, but companies remain charging higher prices for the products.
In the current economic climate, workers with engineering degrees may not be difficult to come by, but they lack the necessary skills and experience required for high profile jobs, such as those needed for the work in the North Sea. Those who are trained are then moved elsewhere, to work in locations deemed more important for their training, meaning the experienced employees are not utilized in this work. There seem to be not enough to spread around to all the company’s needs.
More than half of the 144 firms polled by Opito declared hiring staff whose skills matched the job description as their biggest feat. While BP has raised concerns about this issue, it affects many companies in the industry.