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Shortage of skills, young people threatens oil and gas industry growth

A significant issue for employers; all job areas will be affected equally: Hays Oil & Gas.


May 14, 2013
by PLANT STAFF

Market optimism in the oil and gas industry is high. Photo: Suncor Energy

TORONTO — Canada’s oil and gas industry is booming but like manufacturing, it’s suffering from a shortage of workers with appropriate skills and there aren’t enough young people entering the business, which threatens short- and long-term growth, according to recruitment specialist Hays Canada.

The 2013 Oil and Gas Global Salary Guide produced annually by Hays Oil & Gas and the Oil and Gas Job Search web site, notes 54% of Canadian oil and gas employers cite skills shortages as a significant issue, although 73% expect to increase hiring in the next 12 months.

Hays observes only 18% of the current Canadian labour force is under 35 years old, while globally that same age group makes up 33% of the oil and gas market. In Canada, 42% are between 35 and 49, and another 40% are 50 or older.

“The Canadian oil and gas industry is watching its talent supply dry up,” said Jim Fearon, regional director of Hays Canada in Toronto. “A high volume of oil and gas employees are approaching retirement and without attracting a younger work force and addressing skills shortages this sector is facing major challenges to meet its growth potential.”

Hays warns contractors, operators, oil field services, project managers, drilling engineers and estimators will all be affected equally by the shortage.

However, market optimism is high (say 76% of respondents) and compensation in the oil and gas industry is pretty good. Canada pays an average $125,680 annually, just ahead of the US at $124,000; however, Australia is the leader at $167,160. The world average is $87,300.

Over the next 12 months:

• 38% of employers expect to increase salaries by up to 5%.

• 31% of employers expect to increase salaries between 5% and 10%.

• 8% of employers expect to increase salaries by more than 10%

• 20% of employers expect to keep salaries at the same level.

Top three benefits offered to Canadian oil and gas employees:

• 38% receive bonuses.

• 33% receive a health plan.

• 25% receive a pension.

Hays Oil & Gas surveyed 25,000 industry professionals worldwide.

Click here for a copy of the Oil and Gas Global Salary Guide 2013.