New Talent is Drying Up for the Oil and Gas Industry
According to the International Energy Outlook released by the US Energy Information Administration, the global demand for energy could grow by as much as 56% before the year 2040. The bulk of that increase is coming from developing nations who are eager to join the world economy.
In order to keep up with demands, the oil and gas industry will take the lead by not only stepping up production, but by also expanding its overall workforce. However, a challenge is posed by the lack of skilled workers available to meet production needs. As the current workforce reaches retirement age, companies are scrambling to put aggressive recruitment programs into place due to an oil and gas talent shortage.
One of the first areas in the oil and gas industry that needs an influx of workers is on the deepwater rigs. The call has gone out for a new army of drilling, completion and intervention risers. Beyond the ocean rigs, the extraction of liquefied natural gas and shale gas also requires workers who are ready to jump on the line. Without a properly trained workforce, some of the new exploration and production projects could get stalled. If that happens, supply lines could be impacted, which in turn can drive up costs. That’s not something the consumer wants to face.
To address the growing workforce gap, leaders in the oil and gas industry are setting up training programs at community colleges, vocational schools and universities around the world. A primary goal is to attract the next generation of workers as they graduate from high school. The challenge is finding ways of making this type of work appealing to these young grads. Ironically, if
those same grads pursue an education in business or the legal profession, they may have a hard time finding gainful employment upon graduation. That doesn’t seem to be the case in the oil and gas industry. In other words, there will likely be jobs waiting for the new engineers, but the same may not be true for a young lawyer or business manager. In fact, many oil and gas companies are recruiting engineers from shipbuilding and infrastructure projects.
Beyond stepping up efforts to attract recent high school grads and other young students, industry human resource reps are turning to the military as a place to find qualified workers. Ex-service personal already have an appealing array of skill sets in leadership and project management. These are the qualities that would make them solid candidates for many levels of oil and gas industry work.
Additionally, retention programs across the industry are being expanded. This will help companies hang onto the workers they already have. These retention programs include expanded benefits, bonuses and other incentives. Fortunately, this is one segment of the business world where funding financial incentives won’t prove to be a burden on the company’s bottom line.
Companies also need to change their hiring practices. It may no longer be viable to strictly hire locally, especially when you consider how one company’s interests can span across several countries. The idea is to find the best people for the job and provide them with the freedom and resources to relocate. Bottom line: for the oil and gas industry to thrive, they have to find the best workers wherever they can.