Oil and gas employers are being forced to lure retirees back into the workforce to keep up with project demands due to a shortfall in new generation workers, according to an industry recruitment facilitator.
Oil Careers managing director Mark Guest is one of a number of speakers taking part in the AOG Graduate Careers Day on 22 February, which is being held as part of the Australasian Oil and Gas Conference & Exhibition (AOG) to encourage tertiary students to pursue a career in the oil and gas industry.
Mr Guest said the next generation of workers was critical to the ongoing success of the oil and gas industry, with a vast number of projects coming online in Australia and globally.
“There simply aren’t enough people with adequate experience or knowledge coming up through the ranks to meet project demands. Employers are being left with little choice other than to lure back retirees because of the scarcity of new workers,” Mr Guest said.
“And the only way to stop them retiring is to increase their incentives to stay, usually financially, which pushes up the whole cost base of the industry.”
Mr Guest said that while the phenomenon known as “big crew change” had been a concern for the oil and gas industry for some time, the effects of this generation gap would be fully felt in the next five years as a large portion of the workforce reached retirement age.
“Australian universities and TAFEs produce about 9500 engineering graduates each year, compared to annual national demand of as high as 20,000 a year. We’ve seen a significant increase in job vacancies advertised, indicating the volume and scale of projects in Australia is placing an extraordinary premium on engineering personnel,” he said.
Woodside vice president of human resources Ian Masson said attracting talented young people into the oil and gas industry was crucial for its long-term success.
“We need to develop new talent at a pace that matches the strong growth of our industry, and increase the diversity of our workforce,” Mr Masson said.
“With this in mind, Woodside re-shaped its graduate recruitment process in 2012, resulting in a significant increase in graduate applications and a 50 per cent gender balance in new graduate recruits.
“It’s not just a case of dealing with a short term construction peak, the long operating lifespan of major oil and gas projects means we will need to source skilled people well into the future.”
The AOG Graduate Careers Day will give tertiary students the chance to meet oil and gas employers face-to-face and learn more about job opportunities, graduate programs and vacation work available in the industry.
Offering a mix of presentations and interaction between students and employers, the AOG Graduate Careers Day will also feature speakers from The University of Western Australia, Wood Group Kenny, Sclumberger, Fluor, Open Door Migration, Saipem, Subsea 7, Technip, The Institute of Marine Engineering Science and Technology, and The Resource Channel.
The AOG Graduate Careers Day will take place as part of AOG 2013 at Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on 22 February.
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