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Oil & Gas Workforce Crisis

Oil & Gas Workforce Crisis

Oil & Gas Workforce Crisis

June 9, 2010 ClickSoftware 0 Comments

For several years now, the Oil and Gas industry has been suffering a crisis in the workplace: a severe lack of skilled workers. You may think that during these difficult economic times, there would be plenty of people for the industry to hire, but this worker shortage is proving to be very difficult to overcome.

Most highly technical industries have young people flocking to join ranks and start careers in a skills-based environment. However, the number of people enrolling in petroleum engineering and geosciences has dropped 80% in the last thirty years. To compound the problem, the average age of the Oil and Gas worker is fifty-five, where most other tech industries have an average age around thirty. As you can see, the gap is growing between new workers and those retiring. Estimates range between 30% and 50% of the Oil and Gas workforce will be retired in the next ten years.

Also, the industry faces constant PR battles that make it difficult to attract young workers like:

  • Environmental impact
  • Antitrust issues
  • Perceived price gouging
  • Collusion

The solution to the problem has been focused on recruiting. Research indicates that the Oil and Gas industry must get in touch with Generation Y and make a visceral connection to which they can relate. Recruiting workers out of retirement is another strategy that the industry has adopted. Of course, compensation packages are getting bigger and better to try and win over the small supply of workers. Each of these solutions speaks only to the short-term and don’t do much to solve the problem.

This worker shortage is negatively impacting not only the industry’s performance, but also the workers themselves. CareerBuilder did a study in 2007 that found 54% of workers in Oil and Gas described their workload as “heavy” or “too heavy.” The industry is losing money to the tune of 2.1 Billion USD annually because of delays to projects.

The question is: how do we being to solve the Oil & Gas workforce crisis with a long-term strategy?

A long-term solution can be found by better using the people you have onboard already. By optimizing the skill-sets that exist on the team, people will be more productive and less burdened because projects will be clearly prioritized, and more of them can get green-lighted.

Some say that workforce management and optimization solutions can play a vital role in helping to solve this problem. What do you think?

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