Study shows rise in 24–29 year olds joining oil and gas sector

The number of young people entering the UK offshore oil and gas industry has shot up in the last six years, according to a recent study.

However, the 2012 Demographics Report from trade body Oil & Gas UK also highlighted a need to recruit more workers with mid-term experience, as shown by the fall in employees aged 35–49.

The study found that the 24–29 age bracket had seen the largest increase in new workers between 2006 and 2011 and that the number of under-35s working in the offshore industry had increased generally.

It also showed that two-and-a-half times more people are joining the industry than are leaving it by comparing the number of workers in 2011 in the 23–28 group (who will be classed as experienced in five years’ time) and the 60–65 group (who will likely have retired or returned to offshore roles).

‘There are still some people who think the workforce is ageing and we’re facing a cliff edge so we wanted to highlight that there were a lot of young people coming into the industry at the other end,’ Alix Thom, Oil & Gas UK’s employment and skills issues manager, told The Engineer.

She said that the shortage of mid-experience workers was due to the level of their expertise, making them strong candidates for working abroad as the industry entered new locations.

Oil & Gas UK is holding its first skills summit on 19 September in Aberdeen, with the aim of discussing ideas for how to attract more people to the industry and forming a collaborative strategy.