April 23, 2019

Leading figures from the North Sea’s oil and gas industry will take centre stage at the launch of a key industry report next month to discuss how changing skills requirements will impact on the industry over the next six years.

Mark Cullens, Director of strategic development at OPITO and Paul de Leeuw, Director of the Oil and Gas Institute at the Robert Gordon University will present the findings of OPITO’s The Skills Landscape 2019 – 2025 report at the Oil & Gas UK (OGUK) Business Breakfast, sponsored by Deloitte, at the Mercure Ardoe House Hotel on Thursday 2 May.

They will be joined by a panel of distinguished industry leaders including Ariel Flores, BP’s North Sea Regional President and Lesley Birse, President of People & Organisation for Wood’s Asset Solutions business in the Eastern Hemisphere to discuss the opportunities and challenges for the sector as presented in the report. Joining them on the panel will be Sophie Ewen, an apprentice at Chevron, who will give her view on how she and other young people working in the sector will shape the industry’s future.

This vital piece of research follows on from OPITO’s 2018 UKCS Workforce Dynamics Review and looks at the sector’s skill requirements up to 2025 and what action is needed to support industry’s Vision 2035 and the wider energy diversification ambition. It will provide context for employers, the workforce, governments, agencies, universities, vocational institutes and training providers and outline actions to help secure the skills and competencies required.

Mark Cullens, Director of strategic development at OPITO said: “Advances in technology, internationalisation and energy transition will see new ways of working and the introduction of roles that don’t currently exist. The findings demonstrate that the oil and gas skills landscape will look very different by 2025 and we need to work together as an industry to support the existing workforce with training opportunities and plan for competing with other industries for future talent.”

Graham Hollis, Aberdeen office senior partner for event sponsor Deloitte, said: “The timing of OPITO’s report reinforces the need for the industry to start shaping strategies and investing in people development to address the change of skills required for the energy transition, while also taking into account factors such as the increased use of artificial intelligence to ensure a fit-for-purpose workforce.

“While attracting the next generation to the industry is absolutely key, it’s also important that it doesn’t overlook the valuable pool of experience amongst its existing workforce, many of whom will want to pass on their skills and expertise. Their know-how, much of which is transferable, would leave a lasting legacy for the next generation of talent to help optimise the undoubted opportunities that lie ahead.”

ENDS