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UK oil and gas industry on a strong recovery curve

UK oil and gas industry on a strong recovery curve
A NEW salary survey reveals that contract day rates have increased by an average of 30% in the UK oil and gas industry despite permanent staff salaries still remaining subdued.
The Salary Guide, produced by Hays Oil & Gas in partnership with specialist jobsite Oil and Gas Job Search, reveals that home grown UK oil and gas professionals can expect to receive average day rates of 500, which is up almost 30% from last years survey figure of 390.  
This is great news for those working in the industry, says Matt Underhill, Managing Director of Hays Oil & Gas. Contractor day rates are a good indicator of the state of the job market as they are much more reactive to short term changes in demand for skills. To have an increase of this level shows the UK oil and gas industry is on a strong recovery curve following the tough times of 2008.
That said there is still some way to go before the oil and gas labour market can feel it is back to full health. The fact that the average permanent staff salary actually dropped marginally from last years figure (58,727 to 55,537) reflects this, albeit that staff salaries were once again growing from the middle of 2010.
Duncan Freer, Managing Director of Oil and Gas Job Search, sees the decrease in permanent staff salaries as an issue and believes that UK wages need to maintain competitiveness with overseas countries.
Freer said, Many professionals are still concerned about economic instability and have prioritised job security over wages. However with the industrys renewed strength and permanent salaries increasing in other parts of the world, we could experience a leakage of local talent.
The survey reveals a number of other countries offer substantially higher permanent salaries than the UK, such as Australia, Canada, the US, along with a host of countries where expat salaries far outweigh whats on offer in the UK domestic market.  The issue of keeping talented and experienced professionals will continue to be a recurring theme within the industry.  
Australia, which has the most pressing concerns for skills according to the survey, offers an average yearly wage of 89,600.  This is up from last years survey figure of 85,168 for expat labour.
According to Underhill, Australia is just one of those countries that offer attractive salaries and numerous opportunities for highly skilled, and much sought after British oil and gas professionals. Our survey revealed that almost half of the UKs oil and gas talent is working overseas, and for good reason. Whilst British engineering companies may not hold the reputation they once did, British engineers themselves are held in the utmost regard.   
So there is a definite risk of skill shortages in the UK oil and gas market and it has not gone unnoticed - 42.3% of UK based respondents believe the most significant issue the industry will have to tackle in the next 12 months is skill shortages. This is likely to put pressure on salaries as employers compete for talent.
Overall, the guide does show positive growth and sentiment towards salaries in the sector. Over the next 12 months, nearly 47% of respondents believe that salaries will increase by 5% or more. 
Freer comments: The general trend in wage growth reflects an industry that has recaptured its vigour and confidence after a depressed couple of years. However, the oil and gas industry has to make a concerted effort to attract talented individuals, including new graduates, to ensure that skills shortages do not hamper its growth over the coming decade. It is clear from our survey that this didnt happen through the recession and there is now a certain amount of catch up to be done.
Oil and gas industry recruitment opportunities are promising, especially in comparison to other industries that continue to feel the effects of the tail end of the recession.


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