NES Global Talent expects a sharper focus on recruiting women into the oil and gas industry in 2014. “Despite making up half of the workforce, women have traditionally been underrepresented in the oil and gas engineering sector,” Simon Coton, managing director at NES Global Talent, said. “While a great deal is being done to encourage young women to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics – the STEM subjects – this gender disparity continues to exist. We have heard stories of clients not wanting to publicize the women they do have on their books, for fear of them getting poached by rival firms.”
Mr Coton added that the Middle East, in particular Iraq and the United Arab Emirates, Houston in North America, South Korea and China in Asia, and Angola and Nigeria in Africa, would remain hotspots for exploration, production and construction activity, with a host of new opportunities presenting themselves across all of these regions.
While activity has slowed slightly in Brazil, the lull won’t last long. “The market in Brazil has slowed, but activity is sure to pick up over the coming year,” Mr Coton said. “We are seeing an increase in oil and gas related shipyard activity, which is positive, and means that there are jobs available for people with transferrable skills.”
In North America, Houston remains busy, while there are a number of big pipeline projects awaiting approval in Canada. NES Global Talent is seeing increased activity across the Gulf of Mexico, including New Orleans, where the company recently opened an office, and in Alaska. “In Canada, if huge pipeline projects such as the Energy East Pipeline and the Northern Gateway get the green light, then things will get very busy very quickly,” Mr Coton added.
In the UK, the first nuclear plant to be built in 20 years, Hinkley Point C, is due to come online in 2023, creating more than 25,000 jobs. “This agreement is fantastic in terms of job creation but will also impact on the talent available for the oil and gas industry. There are only so many skilled engineers to go around, and the nuclear industry could find itself facing a similar talent crisis to that being experienced by the oil and gas sector.”
“In order to hang onto skilled workers, international oil and gas companies are recruiting more permanent staff than ever before, and this is a trend we expect to continue in 2014,” Mr Coton said. “The ability to attract and retain local content is crucial to our client’s success.”