Back to Blog2020: The revival of the oil & gas industry?

The Oil and Gas industry has been through a turbulent time over the past decade, to say the least. The oil price crash in 2014 sent shockwaves through the industry. Engineers, who were paid well, were subsequently unable to find work for months, if not years. I know many good engineers who are still struggling to get back into the industry. However, with the oil price continuing to recover and companies diversifying into renewable energy; is the industry finally getting back to the way it was?

Skills Gap

As things stand, there is a lack of “new blood” coming into the industry, creating a skills gap. According to the Global Energy Talent Index, a large majority of graduates are now joining the growing technology sector rather than oil and gas. A drop in training and apprenticeships in the oil and gas industry following the 2014 crash is surely to blame for this.

It is widely known that clean energy is high on the priority list for the next generation of employees. There is a clear benefit to so many oil and gas companies diversifying into the renewable and clean energy sectors, thus attracting more engineers to the industry. The oil and gas sector will still be required to plug the gap in energy for at least another 10-20 years before renewable energy is a complete solution.  Companies have plenty of time to prepare for the next stage in energy production. First People Solutions have noticed a trend of an increased amount of companies attempt to break into the growing Decommissioning sector, dismantling rigs and pipelines which were once flowing with oil. This will be a major growth area over the next few decades, with a vast amount of redundant rigs across the world.

Another point that has to be taken into consideration is the amount of retirements directly following the crash; this was due to engineers unable to find work, therefore deciding to retire. This, paired with the lack of new engineers coming into the industry, has left employers struggling to staff projects.

I commend Subsea 7 who are trying to plug this gap; with the recently established “Engineering Conversion Programme” giving engineers from other industries the chance to join them for a period, get experience in offshore oil and gas, then either join SS7 or move to another company within O&G. This is a great initiative from Subsea 7 who will certainly reap the benefits from a new, multi-skilled workforce.

Moving Forward

The oil price is rising, projects are being awarded and it appears that business as normal has resumed. Subsea UK recently announced that the subsea industry is set to take on 9000 people over the next 3 years. Graduate schemes, traineeships, conversion programmes and apprenticeships will be key in getting the next generation of talent into your company. For experienced engineers, why not ask First People Solutions?

First People Solutions can assist your projects from the initial concept, through to completion. We’ve worked in the industry for decades and we’ve recruited for complex projects on a global basis. Whether you need a Pipeline Engineer to work at FEED stage, focusing on the initial designs and FEA work; or whether you need a Mechanical Fitter to mobilise offshore for a complete overhaul of a GE gas turbine – First People Solutions can help. We have several experienced, specialist consultants who are ready to assist with your recruitment.

Author: Calum Walker

If you’re looking for a new role in the Oil & Gas industry, get in touch with Calum at or calling +44(0)141 270 5007