Oil and Gas

GETI 2021: oil and gas workforce in need of a confidence boost

  • Eight-in-ten oil and gas professionals feel less secure in their jobs than they did a year ago
  • 42 per cent believe the sector has contracted over the past 12 months
  • But two-thirds expect advances in engineering to open up important opportunities in the next three years

LONDON, UK, 12 January 2021, The fifth annual Global Energy Talent Index (GETI), the world’s largest energy recruitment and employment trends report, is released today, showing that the COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a crisis of confidence for the oil and gas workforce.

The report by Airswift, the global workforce solutions provider for the energy, process and infrastructure sectors, and Energy Jobline, the world’s leading jobsite for the energy and engineering industries, reveals that 78 per cent of oil and gas professionals feel less secure in their jobs than they did a year ago, with two-thirds blaming the pandemic for their anxiety. These worries are shared by hiring managers, 77 per cent of whom consider their employees’ jobs less secure than they were last year.

Driving this, a sense of precarity hovers over the whole sector. Forty-two per cent of survey respondents believe the oil and gas market has contracted over the past year – and 24 per cent characterise this as a “strong contraction”.

However, there remains plenty of hope for the future. Fifty-seven per cent of respondents believe their employer is resilient to both recent and future changes and sixty-four per cent expect the sector to grow over the next three years. The same number feel that advances in engineering techniques and technologies will be among the most important opportunities for oil and gas businesses over the period.

Janette Marx, Chief Executive Officer at Airswift, says: “There is no denying that this has been a challenging year for the energy industry, and COVID-19-related instability is certainly being felt by the workforce. But oil and gas is a resilient sector, which has learned several lessons from the last major downturn.

“The bigger long-term challenge is a reduction in available capital, with investors looking to their own reputations and diverting funds towards sectors like renewables. To overcome it, oil and gas firms must show their commitment to innovation and to people, demonstrate support for environmental measures and technological advancements and, crucially, ensure that investors and the workforce alike hear the message.”

In addition to providing much-needed insights into the uncertainty posed by the events of the past 12 months, GETI is also the industry’s most comprehensive salary and mobility study. Key findings within oil and gas include:

  • For the first time in GETI history, over the past year more professionals in the oil and gas sector report a fall in pay (29 per cent) rather than an increase (28 per cent)
  • However, 49 per cent expect pay to rise in the next 12 months, compared to just 18 per cent who expect further reductions
  • Eighty-nine per cent of professionals would consider relocating to another region for their job, with career progression opportunities the number one factor attracting talent to a region
  • Renewables and petrochemicals remain the biggest sources of competition for talent, winning the votes of 50 per cent and 25 per cent of those open to switching sectors, respectively

Josh Young, Director at Energy Jobline, says: “In times of uncertainty, such as this, it is talent that gets you through. Of course, in energy, the competition for that talent is getting fiercer by the day.

“Oil and gas employers may forgive themselves a little self-doubt, but reasons for cautious optimism remain. Technology represents a clear opportunity but so could the energy transition, if handled with care. And let’s not forget that the workforce still has faith that growth – and rising remuneration – will return.”

Airswift and Energy Jobline surveyed 16,000 energy professionals and hiring managers in 166 countries across five industry sub-sectors: oil and gas, renewables, power, nuclear and petrochemicals. The report is available to download at https://www.getireport.com/download-report.

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