A record 98% of North Sea oil and gas sector contractors expect to recruit new staff in the next year but skills shortages and recruitment difficulties are holding back growth, according to a report.
Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce (AGCC) and law firm Bond Dickinson say in the report that recruitment problems are at the highest level since 2007 and half of the companies surveyed lost core staff during the year. Some 75% of operators and 68% of contractors reported recruitment problems.
Over half of companies increased numbers employed this year and average pay rose 6.5% for operators and 4.8% for contractors. The number of operators facing staff retention problems in the last year rose to 64% compared to 25% the year before. Contractors facing retention problems however fell from 51% last year to 49%.
The most common reasons given for losing employees is retirement and staff moving to other UK Continental Shelf based firms. Drilling related vacancies are the hardest for operators to fill while contractors say that recruiting engineers with offshore experience is particularly difficult.
AGCC chief executive Robert Collier 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 level of companies recruiting in the contracting sector.
“This brings challenges around how vacancies will be filled but we fully expect the sector to met these challenges and continue to deliver for the north-east, Scottish and UK economies.”
Photo: Tom Jervis