Oil and Gas Industry Challenge
After 40 years of successful activity, the North Sea oil and gas industry now faces the challenge of developing smaller and more complex fields, against a backdrop of fierce global competition for capital and resources. It is believed that significant volumes of the UK’s oil and gas resources remain to be produced – potentially up to
27 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe).
This second phase of the basin’s life makes a career in the UK oil and gas industry
today as challenging and rewarding as it was in its pioneering days.
Access to a competent and creative workforce will be essential. The industry will require people with the necessary skills and qualifications, and the desire to apply them creatively, to carry North Sea business activity forward, safely and effectively.
In October 2005, the Industry Leadership Team (ILT) commissioned OPITO, the oil and gas industry’s training organisation, to investigate:
; The current shortages of people and skills;
; The potential impact of these shortages on activity; and
; Possible solutions.
OPITO surveyed over 200 companies as well as the major trade associations. The response showed there were immediate shortages across the whole of the industry for technicians, riggers, scaffolders and drilling floormen.
Priority was given to developing solutions which would help to alleviate what the respondents felt to be the most pressing shortages for 2006. This gave rise to the Accelerate Programme, a range of products and services providing information and training for people wanting to find out more about working in the oil and gas industry and fast-track their route into jobs.
The following projects which are launched today are just the beginning. Another four are in development and more will follow as other specific shortages are reported by the industry.
The OPITO Accelerate Programme - Bringing people and the oil and gas
industry together, quicker
; Accelerate “Oilandgas4u”
Oilandgas4u is a dedicated website (http://www.oilandgas4u) which gives
information about what’s happening in the oil and gas industry today and the
career opportunities this brings, highlighting particular areas where the jobs are
available. Users can take a “taster test” to see how their skills and experience
match up and will be directed straight to recruiting companies.
; Accelerate “Check In”
Check In is the next stage. Recruiting companies can use Check In, which is a
computer based skills screening tool, to evaluate potential employees directed to
them by Oilandgas4u, quickly and effectively. The system uses a set of
standard job profiles, which have been developed by employers and agreed by
industry. These list the skills required for jobs in the offshore oil and gas industry
and act as benchmarks for recruitment across the sector.
Employing companies will ask candidates to take the supervised computer-based
test at their nearest approved assessment centre, and will provide them with
objective and timely feedback.
; Accelerate “New Start”
o New Start – Rigging
o New Start – Scaffolding
o New Start – Drilling Floormen
New Start training programmes aim to increase the number of qualified skilled
people for jobs offshore. They are open to everyone, irrespective of previous
experience. The training involves a six-week intensive programme in an
approved training centre followed by a fully supervised introduction to the
workplace, and leads to a recognised vocational qualification. The training
courses will be funded by OPITO, while employment costs will be met by the
New Start – Rigging is now live with 38 trainees already in training.
New Start – Scaffolding is in development and is due to start accepting trainees
from the summer.
New Start – Drilling Floormen is also in development for a start later this year.
; Accelerate “Technician Transfer”
Technician Transfer addresses the immediate requirements for maintenance,
instrumentation, process and electrical technicians, by managing the transition of
people with technical experience from other sectors into jobs in the oil and gas
The 12-week tailored training programme builds on an individual’s existing
experience and equips them with the necessary skills to work in the oil and gas sector. The trainee joins the industry’s experienced technicians, onshore initially and offshore later, to undertake supervised, on-the-job training with safety as a priority embedded throughout the course.
; Accelerate “Understanding”
Understanding is the process the industry will now use to investigate reported skills shortages across the sector and evaluate the level of response required. Shortages of geoscientists, subsurface and subsea engineers in the subsea sector are currently being explored.