Page 2: Workforce planning
Workforce planning is a fundamental tool used by many organisations. This involves estimating future workforce requirements in terms of both labour demand and skills to aid the achievement of business objectives. An appropriately skilled workforce is critical to an organisations short-term and long-term future in order to remain competitive.
The industry requires a highly talented workforce, meaning the search for talent is extremely competitive. There are many factors affecting the employee marketplace, such as the UK’s ageing workforce and the need for appropriate skills and qualifications. These factors may contribute to future skills shortages as they reduce the pool of suitably qualified candidates that the oil and gas sector can recruit from.
Analysing the skills base
OPITO has published a Labour Market Intelligence survey which analyses the current skills situation within the industry. This can be used as a workforce planning tool to identify future skills needs. In order to address these needs, the industry works closely with schools, colleges and universities to inform and influence pupil/student subject choices, in an attempt to widen the pool of talent.
As a technology-led business, the oil and gas industry is constantly changing and developing with roles following suit. However, attracting employees with the desired skills and abilities can be challenging across the sector. For example, increasingly oil is located in deeper waters and with this comes the challenge of accessing pipelines and structures safely. The role of Divers is now supplemented by the use of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) for tasks including the inspection of pipelines and in continuing maintenance. The operation and control of ROVs requires specialist skills and knowledge at both Technician and Graduate level.
How technology is driving skills development
Companies require skilled people, in both on and offshore roles, in order to extract oil and gas safely, whilst acting environmentally responsibly and remaining profitable. Companies within the industry often employ contractors to fill specific short-term roles. This is often the case when there is a need to manage increased production levels or when the use of specialist equipment is required. Workforce planning is an important tool in this situation. Companies need to ensure the required skills are not already available through salaried staff before hiring contractors for the specific role.
As the oil and gas industry locates and explores previously challenging reservoirs, innovative technology is at the forefront. This is an integral part of a number of roles ranging from drilling to seismic interpretation. In order to keep pace with these advances a diverse range of core skills and competences are fundamental.
In order to remain profitable and competitive the commercial angle must be considered in conjunction with the technical advances. Therefore within a project team a combination of both technical and commercial disciplines work closely together to ensure the project is viable. This may include Geologists, Seismologists, Accountants, Lawyers, Engineers and Analysts.