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Do I need a flexible oil and gas workforce?

  • Publish Date: Posted over 1 year ago
  • Author: Jordan Rowson

​Almost no other industry has undergone as much change in the past five years or so than oil and gas. Following the price crash in 2014, optimism is returning to one of the world’s biggest industries, with a recent poll showing 63% of industry professionals were confident about the future.

As well they should be. Supporting more than 302,000 jobs within the UK, and providing 76% of the UK’s primary energy, this sector contributes billions to our economy. There’s a lot to be positive about: with prices going up and running costs coming down, the future looks bright and employment is on the rise. What’s more, massive changes in the wider workforce, growing demand for flexible working and the influence of digitisation have also resulted in changes to the way the oil and gas industry hires staff- and in the popularity of contractors as opposed to permanent employees.

As the oil and gas workforce grows again, are you prepared for these changes? 

If you want to continue to attract the top workers in the future, here are the factors you need to be taking into consideration.

The fluctuating market

The fluctuating market has had a huge impact on the oil and gas industry. The slump of 2014 reduced the cost of oil by 60% by the end of the year, affecting the North Sea industry and UK-based manufacturers. With the resulting lack of work, many permanent positions were dropped from the workforce. 

However, the upswing in the market has resulted in a renewed interest in contracting, and businesses would do well to pay attention. Balancing resources is a tricky and expensive business, requiring organisations to weigh up the fluctuating market with the number of staff they can afford to take on. For many, it is simply not economical to take on permanent staff in a sector that could take a downturn at any time, and this is where the possibilities of a more flexible way of hiring, which come hand in hand with contracting, could benefit your business.

The digital revolution

Thanks to the digital revolution, we are working smarter today than we ever have before. 

Indeed, multiple companies have already indicated just how important it is that the oil and gas industry embraces new forms of technology. Data scientists, machine learning specialists and software engineers all have their part to play in operating the oilfields of the future, and thanks to this, the ever-evolving capability of technology, and the changing market, the way in which oil and gas employees work in five years’ time will likely become very hard to predict. To adapt, employers need to keep an eye on the future, the better to anticipate changing demands and hire accordingly. After all, the industry is ever-changing- so your workforce should be, too.

As technology brings us closer, allowing us to access the Internet at the touch of a button- regardless of where we are- new opportunities have opened up to shape the workforce. Not only is technology paving the way for a more flexible style of working, but it’s also creating an environment that favours the quick and easy hiring of contractors over the uncertainty of permanent employees.

How will businesses adapt?

As we start to turn a corner in the oil and gas industry, the companies working within it have the chance to take charge of how they’re going to adapt to tomorrow’s workforce. 

With employees taking advantage of developing technology, and a new flexible style of working on the horizon, it’s clear that the future lies in keeping an open mind, and in adapting to a modern style of hiring and managing employees- whether that’s by investing in contractors, or by laying the groundwork for a more flexible workforce.  After all, whether you’re taking on staff or securing short-term projects, it will likely be much easier, faster and more cost-efficient to hire contractors than secure staff positions. 

Are you prepared for the future?

Look ahead with Primat

At Primat, we keep our finger on the pulse of the changing market so we can continue to fill the best vacancies with the best talent in oil and gas. Want to know how the market is changing? Visit our meet the team page to connect with our experts on LinkedIn - or why not browse our blog for more industry insights?