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40% of energy professionals fear talent crisis, Airswift reveals

The third annual Global Energy Talent Index (GETI), has been released today, showing that oil and gas businesses must continue evolving their approach to attracting and recruiting talent.

The report by Airswift and Energy Jobline indicates that 48% of oil and gas professionals are concerned about an impending talent emergency. In fact, 40% of survey respondents believe the sector to already be in the grips of a crisis, with a further 28% expecting one to hit within the next five years.

But there is reason for optimism. When asked whether they would pursue a career in the sector if they were entering the energy industry now, a large majority of oil and gas professionals said yes. Encouragingly, 81% of those aged 25 and under remain enthusiastic about a career in oil and gas. While the pace of recruitment may have slowed during the downturn, Airswift says that it is clear that the quality of these efforts remains strong.

Janette Marx, chief executive officer at Airswift, commented, “In recent years, GETI has proven hugely successful at providing hiring managers with the insights they need to manage the expectations of the energy workforce. This year is no different, as we respond to what they told us was their biggest concern: the energy skills gap.

“And the oil and gas chapter makes for interesting reading. Having cut graduate schemes, apprenticeships and training during the downturn, the sector is playing catch-up. But it’s making good progress. And, most importantly, companies now realise that no matter what happens economically, they need to consistently invest in their talent strategies.”

In addition to providing much-needed insights into the skills gap, GETI is also a salary and mobility study. Key findings within oil and gas include:

  • Remuneration is on the up. 41% of non-hiring professionals report an increase in pay over the past 12 months, with 21% citing a raise of more than 5%
  • 65% of non-hiring professionals anticipate further pay rises in 2019. Hiring managers share their optimism, with 63% expecting to see an increase
  • 92% of professionals would consider relocating to another region for their job, with career progression opportunities the number one factor attracting talent to a region
  • Renewables remains the biggest source of competition for talent, with 42% of those open to switching sectors attracted to the industry

Hannah Peet, managing director at Energy Jobline, said, “Competition between sectors remains as fierce as ever, but oil and gas employers are well set to succeed.

“Leaders and hiring managers recognise that the world has changed and the desires of young people are different, with only 30 per cent of those aged under 25 believing that higher pay effectively attracts talent. The trick now is to respond by working to provide individuals with more opportunities to grow their careers, travel and work with new technologies.”

Airswift and Energy Jobline surveyed more than 17,000 energy professionals and hiring managers in 162 countries across five industry sub-sectors: oil and gas, renewables, power, nuclear and petrochemicals. The report is available to download at

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