As the energy industry increases its focus on renewables it’s going to need more people. But there’s confusion and concern among both employers and employees over what the future energy landscape will look like and what role they will play in it.

Lack of political clarity and guidance on energy policy in the UK, US and elsewhere, means it’s difficult for companies and individual workers to see a path ahead. That’s creating a lack confidence, leading to a short-term approach to investment in talent. It’s fuelling misunderstandings and myths about recruitment opportunities in energy – a common issue for oil and gas recruitment agencies in Aberdeen and recruitment agencies in Houston.

At JAB Recruitment, we’ve been successfully supporting the international energy market for several years. Aspiring to be the world’s best offshore staffing company, we have a clear view of the reality behind the political rhetoric when it comes to the future of the industry. We believe it’s time to shatter some of the common myths around energy recruitment.

Does the ‘energy transition’ mean I’ll lose my job?

The phrase ‘energy transition’ is emotive and it can be unnerving for workers in the traditional oil and gas sectors because it can imply uncertainty for their careers. The ability to transfer their skills isn’t clear and obvious to them.  Will they be left behind? It’s a question we hear often in recruitment in Aberdeen.

We understand this concern. That’s why when talking about the future of energy provision, we believe the word ‘transition’ should be replaced by ‘expansion. It’s a much more accurate description of what’s happening right now.

A report from the RGU Energy Transition Institute states over 90% of the UK’s oil and gas workforce have skills with medium to high transferability to the offshore renewables sector. Greater collaboration between the oil and gas and renewables will increase skill sharing and the mobility of workers between the different sectors.

This will lead to the creation of an all-energy workforce moving away from the notion of separate and siloed oil and gas or renewable workers. Establishing an energy skills passport would allow workers to operate across the industry, from oil and gas through to offshore wind, hydrogen, CCUS, geothermal.

What’s the difference in salaries between oil and gas and renewables?

It’s been a common perception in the past that salaries in the renewable industry weren’t as good as they were for oil and gas, especially when it comes to things like an ROV pilot salary. But that’s not really the case anymore. Rates between the two are often comparable or, in some cases, even better in renewables. That’s because several of the jobs are similar. Many people who work on offshore windfarm construction started off in subsea installation for the oil industry. Similarly, skills learned in subsurface oil and gas sector are helping people in CCUS positions. Those with a process engineering background are working on hydrogen projects. The expertise to drill an oil and gas well and a geothermal well are not a million miles apart.

The move back and fore from oil and gas to renewables isn’t new. For years now, JAB has been providing offshore workers to tier one subsea installation and construction companies working on both oil and gas and renewable projects, one after the other. The same crew using the same technology and the same vessels.

The all-energy workforce is a reality and will continue to grow.

Today it’s all about the people

In the past, there was a lack of investment in opportunities for the wider energy industry. That’s no longer the case. Then the challenge was enabling technology that would make advances. Now we have the technology to achieve our ambitions.

Today, the challenge is recruitment. The industry is short of skilled workers to deliver its net zero objectives.

At JAB we’re leading international offshore staffing agencies in supporting the creation of an all-energy workforce and net zero ambitions. Our exclusive job search app Moblyze is helping the energy industry recruit more skilled and quality candidates than ever before.

It’s one example of how we’re empowering energy companies in all sectors around the world to focus on advancing opportunities in a just and fair manner.

Photo by Nicholas Doherty on Unsplash

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