Oil giant BP, the UK’s most profitable company, is struggling to tempt mechanical and electrical engineers away from the electronics industry.
The company is also keen to spread the word that even though most people don’t realise it there is a range of opportunities available in the energy sector.
Lorraine Lockley, BP’s European manager for graduate resourcing, said the world’s third largest oil company is hoping to recruit between 75 and 100 engineers over the next few months.
‘We are struggling for mechanical and electrical engineers,’ she said. ‘Although chemical engineers are not easy to find, we can get them, because we are more of an obvious choice, while people in mechanical or electrical engineering tend to go into the electronics industry.’
The company is currentlylooking for chemical, electrical, mechanical, petroleum and drilling engineers, to work across a wide range of areas, including technology development, power generation and distribution, and design work.
‘We have to try and do better to convince people that working in the oil and gas industries is just as exciting as the electronics sector,’ said Lockley.
Some engineers are also reluctant to join the oil industry if it means being based in Aberdeen.
But according to Lockley, Aberdeen has a lot more going for it than most people imagine. the company’s operation within the city has a young workforce, the nightlife is good, and there is a lively community spirit.
‘People often turn their noses up at working in Aberdeen, but I have it on good authority that working at BP in the city is like being back at university, except you get paid for it. There is a much warmer community up there. Also the entertainment is a lot closer to where you live, unlike London.’
BP recently announced second quarter profits after tax of £2.6bn, an increase of 8.6% on the same period last year.
The results meant record half-year profits for BP of £5.6bn, and revealed the company was making £1.3m an hour. The company’s production growth targets were unchanged, having been set at between 5.5% and 7% for the three years to 2004.