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Skills shortages is primary challenge, finds Oil & Gas Global Salary Guide

Oil and gas industry employers are facing significant skills shortages according to the Oil & Gas Global Salary Guide, and over 65 per cent (68.1%) of employers plan to increase headcount in 2014, exacerbating the already skill-short market, adding pressure to increase salaries to attract candidates, which is based on data from 24,000 respondents

Eighty-three per cent of employers predict an upturn in salaries in the coming year as hiring managers vie for top talent, at the same time as further emphasis is put on benefits. The number of employees receiving benefits grew by over seven per cent over the last 12 months as employers look to bolster compensation packages with incentivised bonuses or attractive pension plans. UK respondents indicated, 27 per cent of employees are offered bonuses, 25 per cent pension plans and 19 per cent have private health plans as part of their salary package.

Although in 2013 salaries flattened for the first time in three years employer’s confidence in the market is high as 72 per cent of hiring managers have a positive or very positive outlook on the Oil and Gas industry.

Ed Allnutt, director of Hays Oil & Gas, commented, “The UK has flat to declining rates this year and is still only ranked 11th out of the 53 countries surveyed which is no change from last year. Norway, Australia, Canada, United States of America and Netherlands continue to lead the way in salary levels and surprisingly, have entered the top 10 highest salaries paid to local labour within the industry.”

Allnutt added, “The UK government is fighting hard to even out the skills gap prevalent within the UK relaxing immigration restrictions on non-British Engineers who wish to work in the UK. Government and private sector efforts to develop graduates in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines are also underway.”

The Guide produced by recruiting experts Hays Oil & Gas and leading jobsite Oil and Gas Job Search, shows UK local average salaries to have gone up by 0.85 per cent, whereas salaries for imported talent declined by 1.4 per cent compared to the previous year.

For comparison, the industry globally has seen a decline of 1 per cent in salary levels from 2013. The slight reduction in growth of salaries can also be attributed to a market correction after a particularly buoyant two year period of increases within the industry. This is probably a necessary correction after two consecutive years of growth in salaries that have started to threaten the financial performance of some companies and assets including the UK’s ageing North Sea Oil fields.

Duncan Freer, managing director of Oil and Gas Job Search, said, “Whilst the overall level of increase in pay in the UK has slowed, the government has taken steps to welcome further business and investment in the UK by announcing a new tax allowance aimed at boosting the development of shale gas resources in the UK.

“Despite the concerns over a sluggish economic recovery, the feeling in the industry remains positive. Employees and new entrants to the industry can look forward to working dynamic and rewarding global sector.”

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