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Professional recognition for energy workers improves job prospects

These are the key findings of the 2014 Hays Energy Salary and Benefits Guide, produced in partnership with the Energy Institute (EI), which provides an analysis of the current labour market conditions in the energy sector.

Sarah Beacock FEI, skills and capability director, Energy Institute, says, "One of the strengths of the energy industry is the variety of highly specialist and highly technical roles. In particular, engineers remain in high demand within the sector. This survey shows a clear advantage for EI members and those with chartered status in terms of salary, job security and work-life balance. The energy industry has a lot to offer new entrants, but more can be done to promote energy as an exciting and vibrant career option, particularly among females, and from an early age."

The report shows that 30% of respondents saw their salary rise in line with the cost of living in 2013, whilst 33% received a pay rise above this.

Those with qualifications and specialist skills, such as project managers and specialist engineers, continue to do well. One in ten were awarded a rise of between 6-10% a further 10% enjoyed a jump of over 10%. The survey also revealed that almost twice as many people without chartered status earned below &pound41,000 than those with chartered status.

There is still evidence of a gender pay gap with only 12% of women earning between &pound61,000 and &pound80,000 compared with 16% of men this also reflects the lack of women in specialist and senior roles.

Greg Lettington, director, Hays Energy, says, "Our research shows the premium paid for specialist skills in the energy industry. A shortage of engineers in areas such as power system, substation design, distribution networks, low carbon energy generation and system design means salaries are likely to continue to rise as employers compete to attract the skills they need. As the current workforce reaches retirement age the pressure will be on for employers to address this skills gap. While many employers are taking action to upskill their existing workforce, more must be done to encourage new entrants to the industry, particularly women who are under-represented in energy."

Forty-five per cent of those surveyed have worked at the same company for between 1-5 years, and 13% for between 11-20 years. The length of time employees are staying with an employer shows that if you have the right skills there are opportunities to progress and take on new challenges. This is significant as, when asked what they considered to be the most important factor when looking for a new role, apart from salary, 31% of respondents answered “career development” whilst 23% sought “a new challenge”.

Getting the work-life balance can be crucial to recruiting and retaining energy talent. Family-friendly benefits, such as an on-site cr&egraveche, performance-related bonuses and flexibility remain important to respondents. EI members and individuals with chartered status have better ratings for work-life balance and job satisfaction than respondents as a whole.

The full report provides more in-depth analysis on salaries, benefits, skills and recruitment trends. This survey covers the oil and gas, nuclear, renewables, biomass, biofuels, utilities and combined heat and power markets as well as energy demand and efficiency. 

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