The oil and gas sector could create up to 39,000 new engineering jobs in the UK over the course of the next two years according to research commissioned by the Bank of Scotland.
Industry expectations of job creation have increased by 5000 since last year according to a survey covering 100 UK oil and gas companies. Confidence about growth prospects for 2014/15 among oil and gas executives dropped slightly to 69% from the 77% who predicted growth last year.
The survey was carried out for the Bank of Scotland’s third annual report on the oil and gas sector. It shows that concerns around talent in the oil and gas sector have grown, with 38% naming a shortage of skills as the greatest challenge faced, up from 33% last year.
Bank of Scotland Commercial area director Stuart White said: “The findings of this report are excellent news for the economy demonstrating the employment generating nature of the oil and gas industry now and in the future. With most of the UK’s oil and gas firms clustered in Aberdeen and the North East, Scotland should reap the largest share of these new jobs, however other parts of the UK will benefit from expansion plans.
“The report also highlights the growing challenges posed by the lack of a skilled workforce. Positive action is underway to address this shortfall, with new partnerships between higher education institutions and industry as well as the creation of new specialist apprenticeship schemes.”
International expansion was a priority for 64% of all companies asked while almost half of exploration and production companies said they were planning further growth in foreign markets in the next 24 months.
When asked about diversification, 48% of all companies showed interest in onshore shale gas, 38% were interested in funding solutions for decommissioning activities and 36% said they would like to expand into renewables.