Many industries experience highs and lows, but it has been a particularly turbulent journey for the oil and gas industry in recent years. Since the start of the oil price downturn in 2014, just short of 300,000 energy jobs have been lost worldwide – but will rebounding oil prices encourage talent to pick up again?
Potential recruitment hike for contractors
Following an extremely difficult period which saw the UK post negative tax receipts from the oil and gas sector, it seems an increase in oil rig activity on onshore rigs and shallow water projects could potentially result in a recruitment hike. In order for necessary work to take place, companies will typically seek the skills and experience of oil and gas experts with contractors likely to lead the way to a recovery. This is because contractors bring with them an attractive flexibility that's often preferred by organisations looking to take control of their costs in the current economic environment.
A demand for technical talent
As well as contractors, it seems those with technical talent could also be in demand as well as those with a combination of technical and financial skills – abilities which are considered highly valuable during the oil and gas recovery. During the price slump – a time where unemployment within the sector was rife – technological advancements ensured the industry was still able to achieve a high level of production, even in the face of adversity.
By implementing technological solutions such as analysing potential drilling sites, pipeline construction, acquiring land rights for new sites and more, the process of oil extraction became more efficient. This is why the industry looks set to recruit those with specific technological skillsets.
Retrain and upskill an existing workforce
As well as seeking qualified candidates with the knowledge necessary to drive the industry forward during a time of rebounding oil prices, many companies are keen to retrain and upskill their existing workforce. While this might not be music to the ears of people looking to enter the oil industry for the first time, it's an active attempt to refine the sector as much as possible, making the most of everyone's talents in an effective and economical way.
Of course, while employers want to fill roles quickly, they also need to ensure each candidate is suitable to any given position, which is why an amalgamation of outside recruitment and internal training looks likely.
Possible shortage of workers
It's fair to say that while the oil industry looks to be getting back on its feet it will face a potential skills shortage as many contractors have moved to related industries or are nearing retirement age.
Furthermore, with countries such as Uganda putting restrictions on expatriate contractors in favour of training and employing locals, jobs that were once available are no longer accessible.
The industry is entering a new exciting era however, and while many aspects have changed, there will still be many exciting opportunities available for those contractors with the right skills and experience, and it won't take long for talent to come back to the industry.