Workforce Report 2019

1. Foreword OGUK’s 2019 Workforce Report shows a welcome stabilisation in employment figures. In 2018, the offshore oil and gas industry supported a total of 259,900 jobs when induced employment is taken into account. Although this is a reduction from the previous year, the 5 per cent drop compares favourably to the drop of 14 per cent between 2016 and 2017, and estimates for 2019 indicate an increase of approximately 10,000 jobs. Exploration and production companies remain focused on tight budgets given the commodity price outlook and ongoing volatility. However, confidence is gradually returning to the basin and 2018 saw 13 new developments or redevelopments sanctioned, more than the previous three years combined. Production on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) increased again in 2018, stimulated by new fields coming on stream, and it is anticipated that production will continue to grow in 2019 — a remarkable achievement for a basin of this maturity. It should be noted that parts of the supply chain continue to be under real pressure with tight margins limiting reinvestment. Figures for the offshore workforce have remained stable with only a very small reduction in the core workforce and the total traveling offshore, indicating that the fall of 5 per cent in overall figures is almost all from onshore roles. As in previous years the majority of those working offshore — 80 per cent —work in the supply chain. For the first time in five years, there was an increase in drilling personnel, up by 18 per cent, reflecting an increase in activity. The Skills Landscape report recently published by OPITO predicts that 25,000 new people will be required by 2025 to offset attrition. This means that the vast majority of those already in the workforce will still be there in 2025. As a result, employers need to consider how they will upskill existing staff to meet the challenges and opportunities arising fromthe anticipateddevelopment of newtechnology and increaseddigitalisation. In addition, the sectormust be ready to compete for new talent that will not be industry specific, such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, robotics, remote operations, cyber security, and other roles which will be transferable between sectors. In the immediate future, OGUK is conducting research with our members and other trade associations to ensure industry has the necessary skills and expertise to meet the projected increase in activity on the UKCS, especially in light of the additional people who will be required during the Forties Pipeline System shutdown in 2020, particularly in engineering construction and maintenance. However, looking ahead it is important to highlight that these shortages may not be just about supply and demand. Even though the industry has a bright future, the immediate reality is that some of the work on offer is short term and may not be enough to encourage experienced personnel back to the sector. The emphasis on attracting investment must continue to encourage employers, especially in the supply chain, to develop longer-term plans.










We hope you find this report helpful and informative. Any queries should be directed to OGUK workforce engagement & skills manager Alix Thom on


Dr Alix Thom, Workforce Engagement & Skills Manager, OGUK



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